It seemed so ingenious the first time we used that ubiquitous “Like” button on Facebook. With one quick click, we could give our personal stamp of approval on practically everything from brands, opinions, posts, photos, videos and more. Now, Facebook moves past “Like” to the more profitable side of “Want”.
Meet Facebook’s Collections
On October 8, Facebook launched a limited new feature called Collections. Right now, seven retailers are testing the feature, including: Michael Kors, Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and Fab.com. The new feature could prove to be a boon to retailers. Here’s how it works. Companies using Collections post a collection of images, say a collection of Fall dresses. Then on each dress photo, there appears a “Collect” or “Want” button, similar to the “Like” button (which still appears there too). When a user clicks “Collect”, it adds the image to their timeline, or they can click “Want” to add the image to their Wishlist. Any photo that is collected or wanted appears in a user’s timeline. In addition, Collections, can be discovered in News Feeds where users and their friends can engage with the collections, share things of interest with friends and ultimately, click through and buy these items.
Collections reflects the social network’s new approach to building marketing products that serve specific verticals. This new feature seems eerily similar in design to competitor Pinterest, which has grown in popularity over the last year and offered users a way to collect, discover and share products in a similar way. One big differentiator with Pinterest, however, is that users can add their own content and save items they find all over the web. It’s unclear whether Facebook will create an option for individual users to create their own collections or if this will be a pages-only feature.
‘Tis Better to Give…
Mark Zuckerberg and his pals have been busy over at Facebook lately, with Collections being Facebook’s second experiment in the e-commerce space in just the last two weeks. In late September, Facebook released Gifts, a service that lets users send real gifts to their Facebook friends. To this end, Facebook has teamed up with such retailers as Starbucks, 1-800-Flowers, Gund and Magnolia Bakery. Facebook is presenting Gifts as an easy way to choose, buy and ship real-world presents with the click of a button without ever having to leave its site. The gift recipient receives an immediate notification, along with a digital greeting card and preview of the gift. They simply reply with the address where they would like the gift delivered, and it ships within a few days.
With Facebook now boasting more than one billion active users, these two new features could help them connect with lucrative e-commerce potential while offering retailers a new way to connect with customers and their ever-influential circle of friends.