In a further move that signals Facebook is expanding its commercial focus, new Want and Collect buttons will let you make a Wishlist of things to buy.
Only a few weeks ago Facebook unveiled its new Gifts feature in the US (as yet unavailable in Australia) which allows users to purchase and send physical items to one another via the social network, and now it's expanding things further with a feature called Collections that enables retailers to put Want or Collect buttons on their posts. Once users click on the buttons, it creates a Wishlist on their profile, which directs them off Facebook to the retailer's site where they can make their purchase.
The new features, which emulate the commercial functionality seen in Pinterest, are still in testing and haven't yet been officially announced, although Facebook did confirm their existence to TechCrunch
, saying: "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.” According to that report, Facebook won't make money directly off each click-through, but the feature may enable the company to compel brands to purchase more advertising.
The latest e-commerce manoeuvres cap what has been a topsy turvy few months for Facebook. After the early triumph of pulling off its initial public offering in May, stock prices quickly plummeted, losing close to half of their original worth and wiping billions from the company's market value, in turn leading to much finger-pointing and numerous lawsuits (which are now being aggregated).
Amid the stock controversies, early October saw Facebook celebrating the staggering milestone of hitting one billion active monthly users (an achievement it commemorated with the ad below), a figure which significantly dwarfs the size of comparable social networks. The company will now be hoping to channel some of that engagement towards its increasingly commerce-friendly endeavours.