Social Commerce

Could Facebook Messenger Be The Next Trading Platform?

AJ Bell, a U.K. fund supermarket, could be looking to Facebook Messenger for an entirely new service to attract a younger audience — enabling investors to trade.

The company announced that it intends to launch a trading service using the messaging platform soon, which would then allow users to both buy and sell shares using the Messenger app. This would be made possible through Facebook Messenger's chatbots, which would allow AJ Bell customers to communicate using a text message.

“We have created a secure authorization framework between the Facebook Messenger platform and AJ Bell Youinvest,” Tim Huckle, digital strategy director at AJ Bell, told Financial Times. He specifically pointed toward millennials as being the target demographic for this service. Facebook Messenger currently has around 900 million monthly users.

Facebook announced in April that is going all in on chatbots as a tool to engage consumers and give businesses new tools to reach them. Its chatbot platform, it hopes, will spawn an ecosystem of developers who will find a variety of use cases to make bots better and then develop apps for the Apple and Android ecosystems. Essentially, what this means is that Facebook has opened up Messenger with a set of tools for any developer that wants to build itself a chatbot.

The overall goal is to enable companies to better connect consumers to their platforms, which is where AJ Bell's trading service would come into the mix. Huckle explained in the interview that the service would also give users a summary of their charges and any trading costs — a service that would be available all through the app.

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