Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has played down the value of payments to the social network, saying that it will partner with card firms and PayPal rather than try to build its own system.
Speculation has mounted in recent months that Facebook could make a concerted effort to break into the payments market. The firm has begun trialling a 'buy' button that enables users to purchase products advertised on the social network and is also tipped to introduce P2P payments within its Messenger app.
However, the company's third quarter earnings results show that payments still makes up just a small slice of revenues - $246 million, a 13% year-on-year increase but dwarfed by the $1.8 billion advertising generated.
In an analyst call on the Q3 results, Zuckenberg dodged a question on Messenger payments plans but made it clear that advertising is his focus.
"You know, we view the ads part of the business as a more efficient part of the business than payments itself. Payment tends to be, you know, fixed-fee, whereas in ads, because of the auction model, there's really good price discrimination built in".
The Facebook boss says that payments is important because it helps advertisers to close sales. "But we've traditionally thought about this as something that we're going to partner with other companies on to enable great solutions, rather than trying to compete and do it as a business ourselves."
The social network is "excited about partnering with credit card companies and partnering with PayPal and all of the different folks in online payments to make their solutions as good as possible, as well".