The Facebook Want Button Enters Testing Phase
The much-speculated-about Facebook Want button has officially entered testing phase in a new feature for the social networking giant called Collections. Collections groups the now-ubiquitous Facebooke Like button alongside the new Want and Collect buttons on the Facebook pages of commercial enterprises. For now, the testing is going on with big names such as Pottery Barn and Victoria's Secret - allowing Facebook users to designate products as items they want (i.e. items they are in the process of "collecting") or products they like. Clicking the Want and Collect buttons will create a wishlist for Facebook users, according to the Chicago Tribune, and may be the beginning of Facebook embracing social e-commerce in a big way.
Additionally, the Collections feature on Facebook will link users directly to e-commerce sites where they can purchase the products they like, want, or are collecting. "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," a Facebook statement confirms.
Although the social networking giant is not as yet taking a commission on sales, it is a sign that e-commerce could play a bigger role in the development of Facebook in the future, particularly as the monetization ability of the company has been questioned in the face of unimpressive share performance.
Midsize IT managers who don't already have a Facebook page for their company or to promote their company's products can use the testing of the new Collections feature on Facebook as an indication that e-commerce activity may become a central part of the networking site. Now might be the time to make a page for their company and begin building a following before Collections becomes freely available.
The Faceboook Want button will also play an important part in gathering new forms of data that midsize firms can take advantage of. Over and above the generic Like button, the Want button clearly indicates a desire to purchase, either now or in the future. Although at present the Want button will not be available as a plug-in on external sites like the Like button is, it will still represent a new level of data that IT can utilize and share with the marketing department to help steer business strategy.
As Facebook attracts over 1 billion users around the globe, the consequences of a more commercial side to the social networking site are not to be underestimated. The low barriers to entry for midsize companies in regard to accessing Facebook and utilizing it for commercial gains make it well worth the effort to create and maintain a company page.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.