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Facebook will not launch a payments system for its platform application developers at the upcoming F8 conference. Inside Facebook says though Facebook engineers are working on a system, it just won't be ready in time — even though Facebook began asking developers to participate in a payments beta test last December. Silicon Alley Insider offers a stranger explanation: The Facebook payments system hasn't come out yet because Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg "hasn't bought in to the idea completely."

If that's the case, Zuck needs to hurry up and buy in. Venture capital for Facebook-application startups is drying up. One way Facebook could make its hangers-on flush again would be with a payments system which allows users to buy and sell things — two activities we've heard many experts consider crucial to any economy.