Facebook is updating its desktop applications to allow game developers to sell virtual goods from ads posted in the user's news feed or along the page's right-hand column.

The upgrade allows users to pay for virtual games or items such as booster packs for games directly from the ad and start playing that game, Facebook states in a blog. Game developers can use the desktop apps to re-engage active gamers who have made past purchases or those who have not yet paid for a game, Facebook says.

The upgrade to desktop advertisements essentially allows developers to offer promotions outside of their own application, Facebook adds.

Establishing a way for users to make payments while on Facebook has long been part of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company's plans.

Over the past three years, Facebook has obtained licenses as a money transmitter in several U.S. states.

Facebook earlier in July expanded its relationship with Braintree, now part of eBay's PayPal, as the sole payments provider for FbStart, which provides startups with tools to develop apps for Facebook.

In addition, the hiring of PayPal's David Marcus last month signaled to those in the payments industry that Facebook was possibly preparing for a deeper dive into payments. But the company says Marcus will mostly focus on further developing Facebook's Messenger application, the company's cross-channel chat interface.

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