In its never-ending quest to connect the world and make loads of cash doing it, Facebook has today announced a new shopping advertising format dubbed Collection that will helps brands showcase products on mobile.
And yes, only mobile.
No ad to show here.
“Mobile has reshaped how people discover, learn and ultimately buy from businesses,” the company writes in an update.
“People are also watching more videos on mobile, and shoppers want to see products as they exist in the real world—but they also expect fast-loading, seamless experiences when they discover and buy on mobile.”
The company’s solution to this is to allow brands to tell their own “visual product story” using Facebook’s ridiculously large user base as clientèle. In many ways, Facebook is now a digital shopping mall that allows shoppers to access wares from companies within the confines of its digital walls.
“Collection increases the likelihood of discovery and a purchase by featuring a primary video or image above relevant product images,” the company adds.
Thanks to the new system, when users click on an ad, they’ll be transported to a mini-slideshow on mobile. Facebook’s calling this an “immersive, fast-loading shopping experience” that will allow companies to showcase up to 50 products at a time.
“Tapping on a product will take the most interested people to a product detail page on a business’ website or app to purchase.”
Facebook is allowing brands to show a carousel of their products when users tap on an advertisement
The rationale behind this move is simple. Facebook has over 1.8-billion active users, with more and more each day accessing it from a mobile device. Additionally, the company claims that three in four people use social media when plotting to purchase items.
Facebook Collection: the cyber-social mall of the future?
And based on evidence given by the internet giant, Collection might be a gamble worth making for companies.
During trials with German athletics brand Adidas and American apparel brand Tommy Hilfiger, both companies saw more than a twofold return on ad spend.
But while this is an interesting prospect for businesses, it does raise a few questions for consumers.
Facebook’s app is facing a problem that few often encounter: it’s overladen with features. What was once a simple social networking tool has become a convoluted jack-of-all-trades. The company’s spin-off apps like Messenger and WhatsApp are also suffering from this, but to a lesser degree.
Whether or not all users will warm to Facebook as a shopping app is questionable, but you’ll be seeing more hoodies, fragrance bottles and swanky evening dresses on the social network in the near future.
But at least now you might also be able to buy them right then and there.