2019 was the year of Libra. For those that haven’t heard of it, Libra Coin was created by Facebook as an attempt to create a new digital currency. The cryptocurrency will let you buy things or send money to people with zero fees – but the idea wasn’t without backlash.
For fans of crypto, Libra was criticised as a power grab by a huge corporation. Not to mention that some lawmakers and regulators around the world looked into launching instigations around the currency, before it had even been created.
Criticism aside, Libra claims to be pretty straightforward. It would work much like any other cryptocurrency in that you would buy a number of Libra coins in exchange for your local currency.
How Libra would function across Facebook
Plans have also been announced for Calibra to come in 2020. Calibra is a way to let people better access and participate with Libra – with their first product being a digital wallet. Made to be a standalone app, the wallet would also function across all other Facebook services too.
So, what does this mean? Essentially, Libra could function across Messenger, WhatsApp and even Instagram. In turn, and if the product catches on, this could significantly change the way e-commerce works across each of these platforms – especially Instagram.
How Libra could affect e-commerce for Instagram
In recent months we’ve already seen the rollout of Instagram Shopping which allows a business to create an immersive storefront. This allows brands to tag products with links that take users directly to their website where they can finalise purchases.
But with the addition of Libra, Instagram could become a whole new marketplace. The rollout could potentially allow payment to happen in-app, becoming easier and more effective. This could also open up the option of e-commerce for small businesses who may not have well-optimised or shoppable websites.
The future for 2020
This being said, Libra is still set to launch in the first half of 2020 – so anything could happen in the meantime. If Libra does manage to take off, it could cement Facebook as the dominant social platform for years to come. Not to mention it would open up a wealth of opportunities for brands and marketers alike.
For now, Facebook also seems to be exploring another payment system called Facebook Pay which looks to be available across Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp too. Whether this is a temporary measure while the future of Libra is solidified, only time will tell.