First there was the ‘Like’ button.. now get ready for the ‘Want’ button. Capitalist commercialisation? Perish the thought! This is just Facebook desperately looking at new ways to make it a more viable commercial business. But could it be good news for your business?
If you haven’t already heard, Facebook is trialling a new feature called ‘Collections’ which results in users seeing a ‘Want’ or ‘Collect’ button next to products from certain retailers. By clicking this, the product is added to their Collections tab, and showcased on their timeline. This makes it extra easy for all of their friends to buy them something for their birthday they actually want.
It would be easy to assume that Facebook is going to take a cut of each sale, or at least charge a referral fee, but at the moment they aren’t. They are just trialling this new feature with seven retailers in the US, but they have plans to gradually roll this feature out across the whole of the US, and then it’s only a hop, skip and a splash before we see it over here in the UK too.
I don’t know about you, but as a customer or end user I am fine with seeing the odd advert on my Facebook page when using a computer but I am getting heartily sick of seeing my news feed plastered with adverts when using my mobile or tablet device. I can foresee that this Collections feature can only end up taking over that news feed even more with people declaring that they ‘want’ this and ‘want’ that.
Personally I see this as having the potential to seriously harm the appeal of Facebook for users who rely on mobile and tablet devices, but what about as a business owner? Does this new feature offer the opportunity to reach out to new customers?
To be honest it’s too early to say, and until we see how it works in practice I think it’s important to reserve judgement. Certainly Facebook has been doing rather badly as far as the value of its shares is concerned, and I can easily see how reaching out into ecommerce given the one billion users who are already fully connected to the network is a tempting idea. Just as long as Facebook doesn’t become an advertising platform with a little bit of social networking squeezed in on the side.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you see a ‘Want’ button as being a good thing for business or a bad thing for users? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.