Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has admitted that the social network is working on a form of payments technology - but that it may take several years to be put in place.
On the company's first earnings call following the hiring of PayPal boss David Marcus to head its messaging business, Zuckerberg finally addressed speculation that the company would be following in the footsteps of other major rivals such as Google and Twitter in introducing some form of payment service, but said it would not be a "cheap and easy approach".
"I think some of the questions around payments are connected to what we're planning on doing in the other apps outside of Facebook," he said, adding that there was "a lot of work" to be done in order to establish a foundation for having a good businesses community and ecosystem.
There could still be "years of work" needed before the technology becomes a huge businesses for Facebook, he added, explaining that any service would overlap the company's Messenger service, which currently has over 200m users worldwide.
"The payments piece will be a part of what will help drive the overall success and help people share with each other and interact with businesses," Zuckerberg explained.
"There's so much groundwork that we need to do in order to make it so that people are communicating with businesses and public figures and entities in these other apps that we're building, which is part of the business ecosystem."
"We have a lot of work to do and we could take the cheap and easy approach and just try to put ads in and do payments to make some money in the short term but we're not going to do that. We're going to take the time to do this in the way that we think is going to be right over multiple years."
Last week, Facebook announced it would be trialling a "Buy" option, which would allow users to purchase directly from companies advertising on their home News Feed, following in the footsteps of Twitter, which also launched a similar trial as part of a move towards implementing an ecommerce service.