One of the few people who ever actually used the Facebook Messenger payments function has received a message letting him know it'll be shut down on the 15th of June, thus tipping off the rest of us who never quite got round to trying it out.
UK P2P money transfers via Facebook Messenger coming to an end.
— James Whatley (@Whatleydude) April 16, 2019
Facebook confirmed the news to Engadget with the following statement:
"After evaluating how we give people the best experiences in Messenger, we made the decision to focus our efforts on experiences that people find most useful."
So they're closing down Facebook then? Haw haw.
The Payments page on the Facebook help website says the closure applies to the UK and France, but charity donations aren't going anywhere:
On 15 June 2019, we will discontinue P2P services on Messenger or through Facebook messages for all residents in the UK and France. While you won't be able to exchange money with friends and family, you'll still be able to complete other transactions through Facebook, such as making donations to charitable organisations.
Messenger payments have been around since 2015, and were intended to make it easier to pay your mates back for things like gig tickets and that dinner you all had but only one person had a starter oh and so-and-so didn't drink any wine so take that off, and sod it, just forget it, nothing is worth this.
It seems the feature never really caught on, because it's just not that hard to get your mates' bank details or PayPal email, to give them cash, or just say "I'll get it next time." (Looking at you, Regan -- you still haven't, it's been years).
Facebook is also rumoured to be trying out a type of blockchain-based cryptocurrency called a stablecoin for WhatsApp, so no doubt that'll come to Facebook and probably Instagram as well, before being abandoned for whatever Snapchat is doing now. [Engadget]
Main image: Facebook