Facebook starts testing want and collect buttons, gets more Pinterest-y

facebook world

Don’t you love it when rumours come true? Stories have been circling for a while now that Facebook was working on a ‘want’ button and gearing up for entry into the world of social ecommerce. Now the social network is testing a new Collections feature which allows users to create wishlists of items they’d like to purchase from a brand’s Facebook page.

The billion-strong social network is piloting want and ‘collect’ buttons with selected users and brands in the US — including Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com. According to TechCrunch, the retailers will be able to add the buttons to posts in their newsfeeds, which will allow their fans to save images of things they like in collections on their profiles, and then click through to buy the products on external online stores. Sound familiar? It’s basically Pinterest, but blue.

facebook collections

The buttons come in a few different flavours, depending on where you’d like to save products and who you’d like to see them. Facebook is rolling them out to different users to see which option is the most effective:

  • The want button: Clicking this button adds a product to a new Wishlist section on your Timeline which can be seen by friends of friends.
  • The collect button: Clicking this button lets you save items to a Product collection that only your friends can see.
  • An updated like button: This version of Facebook’s iconic button will add an item to the Products section that is visible to friends of friends.

Speaking to All Facebook, a spokesperson for the social network said:

We’ve seen that businesses often use pages to share information about their products through photo albums. Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections. Collections can be discovered in news feed, and people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.

But it seems that this new feature isn’t going to generate any income for Facebook directly.. at least, not at this stage of the test. The company reportedly won’t charge brands a fee or take commission from purchases on their online stores. Instead, it is apparently going to stick to its current advertising-based business model, hoping that brands will take out more ads to encourage users to like their pages and increase click-throughs to their stores.

It still remains to be seen if Facebook will roll out a want or collect button for external sites, in addition to the usual like and recommend options.

Image: All Facebook



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