Facebook’s messaging ambitions amount to much more than chat

Facebook is already the leader in enabling you to share photos, videos and links. It now wants to be a force in messaging, commerce, payments and just about everything else you do online.

The company’s ambitions harken to how WeChat has become the centerpiece of digital life in China, where people use it to order movie tickets, subway passes, food delivery and rides.

If Facebook’s messaging services becomes a platform for everything, it could ultimately threaten established services such as Snapchat, Yelp, Venmo, eBay and even Apple and Amazon.

But Facebook faces numerous hurdles. A key one is restoring user trust, following a string of privacy failures.

Analysts say change will take time, and competitors don’t need to worry right away. But they do need to pay attention.

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