Color Bars

Facebook Offers Pinterest-Like Feature with E-Commerce Opportunity

Facebook has given new meaning to words and phrases not previously associated with the Internet and social media, including: news feed, tag, poke and like. Soon we may be able to add other words to the Facebook repertoire: want and collection.

Facebook is testing a new feature with some big name brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn and Michael Kors. The concept is simple: brands create “collections” of their products in fashion similar to Pinterest; each item in the collection has a “want” button and a “buy” button linking back to the point of sale on the brand’s website. When a user clicks the “want” star the action goes onto that user’s timeline. (NOTE: When NST tested the “want” feature, we didn’t see the action appear on the news feed of friends. This could be a potential downside, because if users have to go hunting to see their friends’ wants, there are ultimately less impressions for the brand than if it appeared in news feeds automatically.) Facebook users also have the option to add a comment to the “want” action and are prompted with the question “Why do you want this?” These comments can give brands valuable insight into what customers like about their products.

When perusing the Victoria’s Secret Facebook page, I noticed the brand’s collections didn’t appear in the tab portion of their pages. Instead, the collections were only visible as news items on the wall. Facebook may be holding off on integrating collections into the tab until the testing phase for “want” is over. It would be a logical next step to give collections a permanent home on the profile so fans of the brands can find the feature as quickly and as easily as they can now browse photos, videos and other branded features.

The addition of a “want” button has enticed companies for some time as it adds another layer of brand engagement to the “like” factor already in place. But the “buy” feature is what intrigues me and it’s something Pinterest lacks. If Facebook analytics can shed some light into just how many people are purchasing a product after first engaging with the brand’s Facebook page, marketers may be able to more clearly delineate the ROI of social media.

Until this feature is rolled out to more brands, we’ll have to cross our fingers and hope one of the brands implementing “want” and “buy” right now will share some of their insight. In the meantime, be sure to check back to stay updated on the latest social media happenings.

« | »