The head of Facebook Messenger app David Marcus will be leaving his role to supervise and lead a new team at the company, which will be focused on exploring possible applications of blockchain technology, according to reports. The team will have relatively few members but will include some of the top Facebook executives, including vice president of engineering and vice of product at Instagram. Stan Chudnovsky, former product head at Messenger will assume the vacant role of Mr. Marcus.
He announced the decision, you guessed it, on Facebook, saying that, “After nearly four unbelievably rewarding years leading Messenger, I have decided it was time for me to take on a new challenge. I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.“
Before joining Facebook, Marcus served as Paypal CEO and joined the board of crypto exchange Coinbase in late 2017. He certainly brings a wealth experience in payments and mobile technology, while also reportedly being involved with crypto industry since 2012. While it might not seem that long ago, let me remind you that bitcoin sold for $5 back then.
There is still a lot of uncertainty in trying to figure out how exactly Facebook plans to apply blockchain to its operations. The policy of the social media giant towards the crypto sphere has been ambiguous as it banned all digital currency and ICO ads at the turn of the year. However, around the same time Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said the company is looking into the technology to determine “how to best use it in our services.”
The move comes at a challenging period for Facebook as the company has undergone perhaps the biggest managerial shake-up in its history, appointing new heads for WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook core app. The changes are meant to improve internal communication and user privacy but are also likely influenced by the public backlash against the company, following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Additionally, Mr. Zuckerberg has reshuffled the Facebook organizational structure and introduced three main divisions, under which everyone at the company now operates.
The announcement brings further increases credibility of the crypto industry, seeing such a prominent company as Facebook trying to implement it. While it is unlikely we will see a FacebookCoin any time soon, the company will surely find ways to use distributed ledger technology to its benefit in other areas. Having the recent privacy scandal in mind, encrypted data storage seems like a perfect place to start.
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