October 10, 2012

Facebook expands e-commerce testing with new features

Social networking major Facebook has introduced new features such as ‘want’ and ‘collect’ to further increasing its reach in the e-commerce space.

By Prasanth Katam

Social networking major Facebook has introduced new features such as ‘want’ and ‘collect’ to further increasing its reach in the e-commerce space.

The new features are part the company’s strategy of augmenting its revenues from web advertising and garnering a larger pie of the internet retailing space.

Currently available only for users in the US, the features have been launched in partnership with retailers such as lingerie major

Victoria’s Secret and high-end departmental store Neiman Marcus while home furnishings and home décor retailer Pottery Barn became one of the first retailers to post a ‘collection’ on Facebook .

Retailers can catalogue their products in their ‘collections’ and when a Facebook user ‘likes’ ‘wants’ or ‘collects’ a product, they are allowed to purchase it directly from the retailers own website.

Commenting on the new features the company said in a statement, "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."

The company hasn’t divulged details of its revenue sharing with the retailers.

"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," said the company’s statement.

Facebook had recently announced crossing 1bn active users on its social networking platform and is hoping to have similar success with the ‘want’ feature as it did with the 2010 launched ‘like’.

The company said that the ‘like’ button had been clicked over 1.1 trillion times since its introduction and had launched the ‘gift’ button to mark its foray into the retail space.