Facebook, like so many other online platforms, is looking for new ways to make it’s service more appealing to everyone. “Everyone” is this case not only includes average users like you and I, but also businesses, brands, and corporations.
Facebook recently rolled out a new service to certain brands that functions similarly to Pinterest. In short, brands can now publish product collections to your feed and allow users more in depth options to interact with them like “want”, “collect”, or in some cases even “buy”.
This goes way beyond simply “like”-ing something that shows up on your feed. This is basically a way to take banner display ads out of the side bar and onto your main facebook feed.
I assume these new “Collections” will only show to users that have a relevant interest in the products, perhaps even limiting it to those who have already liked the brand on their own. Otherwise our feeds will start to feel a lot like watching a scrolling commercial.
Is This Only the First Step for Facebook Commerce?
While the brands participating in this new form of facebook advertising is fairly limited, this could just be the start of something much bigger. If the initial trial of this feature is successful, facebook might open the flood gates to other brands.
Recently facebook even announced a way for normal users to promote their own posts to the top of their friend’s news feed (for a fee of course). It seems a shift is happening away from things I want to see in my news feed to stuff that other people want me to see.
I’ll even admit that there is some convenience to be found with having relevant products showing up in my news feed with a “buy” option readily available. I think the whole idea misses a pretty big mark however.
I don’t go on facebook to shop for products. I go on facebook to stay current with my friends and family. I don’t ever plan on using facebook as product research, unless I’m asking specific friends about a purchase I’ve already decided to make.
In short when I want to be social I go to facebook. When I want to buy a product I go to amazon or another online retailer.
I’m still not necessarily looking for those two services to mingle with each other.