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Is there a big Facebook announcement coming at Innovate?

September 29, 2011

TechCrunch published an article this week noting that Internet journalist extraordinaire Robert Scoble "revealed that PayPal is launching something big with Facebook in two weeks", presumably at the X.commerce Innovate conference.

Read the TechCrunch piece for more information on who they've spoken with to confirm the pending announcement to their satisfaction.

Once you've satisfied yourself that something's probably going to be announced (and I by no means have any insider information on this, I'm merely reading the same public scribblings that you are), it's time to start your speculation engines.  Here's what TC guessed might be coming:

A likely possibility is a Facebook partnership on the new X.Commerce platform, which is a division of eBay, Inc. and is expected to bring together elements from eBay, PayPal, Magento and GSI Commerce. According to PayPal, X.commerce will feature a “fabric” that stitches the platform together to create new experiences for retailers and their customers. A number of partners will be announced (already Adobe and Kenshoo have been revealed as partners), so Facebook could be part of this group.

If I were a gambling man, I'd have to say the above strategic announcement is a no-brainer.  Such announcements are easy to do and get both sides some cache while giving each time to figure out exactly what they want to cooperate on with the other.

But what if Facebook and PayPal wanted to get more specific and tactical?  TechCrunch went on to say:

PayPal could also announce a deal similar to the one American Express formed with Facebook, which links your credit card account with Facebook to offer users special exclusive deals. If you buy the deal item with your AmEx card, you will be credited the deal amount. The deals you see are influenced by what you and your friends “like” on the Web using the Facebook like button. PayPal already offers deals but a deeper integration with the social network would help close the redemption loop.

I'm fascinated by the possibilities with this second one.  Square's been coming after other payments players with localized coupons and loyalty programs in their Card Case, and I'd love to see a response from PayPal that takes the game back to them, upping the ante by utilizing the power of Facebook's social graph.

What other opportunities do you see in a possible Facebook-X.commerce partnership?  Please leave a comment on the complete X.com post with your thoughts.

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