Facebook Hires Indian Exec To Push Messenger App [REPORT]

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Facebook’s Messenger app is increasingly becoming an important platform for it. So to help develop strategies for the chat app, the social media giant is hiring a high-profile technology executive who has expertise in Silicon Valley and India, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Growing importance of India

Facebook has hired Anand Chandrasekaran for a global leadership position in which he will work on strategies and partnerships for Messenger, says the WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter. Whether Chandrasekaran, who served Yahoo as a former senior executive, will be based in the U.S. or India is not known.

According to the WSJ, the company might make an announcement as early as Tuesday. Chandrasekaran quit Yahoo to work with Bharti Airtel (India’s largest cellular company) as chief product officer. During his tenure at Bharti, he launched Airtel’s mobile app and a popular music streaming app. Last year, he joined a major Indian e-commerce startup, where he served it as chief product officer.

Chandrasekaran’s hiring suggests the growing importance of India to Facebook. India is already the second-biggest market for the company after the U.S. in terms of users, and there are hundreds of millions of people who have yet to come online, making it even more very crucial.

Buy movie tickets on Facebook

Since the number of people flocking to messaging platforms is increasing rapidly, Facebook intends to transform Messenger, which has more than a billion users, into a hub for activities such as e-commerce. At its annual F8 conference in San Francisco in April, the company emphasized its focus on the app and showed how developers could create chatbots for the service. These automated services will be capable of interacting with consumers in real time to answer questions.

Meanwhile, Facebook and Fandango have partnered to offer movie tickets through a new feature that allows users to look up and pay for tickets within the Facebook app. Fandango is already one of the most popular ways to buy movie tickets online. Users will be able to simply look up a movie on Facebook and buy tickets right from the film’s page.

It appears to be a limited roll-out as of now. On the movie’s supported Facebook page, users will see a big blue “Buy tickets” button. On desktop computers, users will be rerouted to Fandango’s website, but if they’re using the mobile app, they will be able to complete the checkout process right there by selecting a theater and showtime.

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