Facebook Taps PayPal to Ignite Mobile Apps

In a sure sign that Facebook is looking to bring commerce into Facebook, the social network has partnered with PayPal to extend payment enablement (acceptance + processing) to any Facebook mobile app that is accepted into its FbStart program.

FbStart is a program that provides innovators just starting out (Bootstrap) or those more established but need help scaling (Accelerate) with a package of free tools, support and other goodies worth, they say,  $8,000 and $40,000 respectively. Any startup that is accepted into the FbStart program (it is an application process) will now also have access to PayPal’s Braintree platform to payment enable and process up to $50,000 in payments transactions, also for free.

Braintree’s GM of Mobile, Aunkur Arya, said in a post on the Braintree blog, “Together, Braintree and Facebook will give developers the tools they need to successfully build an app, market their product and begin accepting payments.”

As FbStart’s mobile payments’ partner, PayPal and Braintree are hoping that free access to the platform will encourage more developers to embed payments into their apps. And, Facebook is obviously looking to expand the portfolio of apps in its mobile arsenal capable of enabling payment and generating commerce and attract more developers to its platform. Facebook has had a rocky relationship with the developer community over the years given its reputation as a mercurial and even somewhat unstable development platform.

This announcement comes only days after PayPal’s president, David Marcus, left PayPal for Facebook to run its mobile messaging platform. And since it’s probably only a short walk from FbStart to Mobile Messaging at Facebook, we bet word spreads quickly to the mobile messaging team that there’s an easy way for the team to tap into payment enablement should he ever need it.

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