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Facebook 'Buy' button mantra: Buy advertised products without saying bye to the social network

23 July 2014, 5:25 am EDT By Robert Lawson Tech Times
Facebook is reportedly testing a buy button option with a limited number of small and midsize businesses. The feature would show up in news feeds on the site.  ( Siesta commons | WikiMedia Commons )

In the social media company's first real major attempt at anything ecommerce related, Facebook may now consider adding a buy button to its news feeds. The feature would allow businesses to sell products within Facebook.

The company, which has been expanding efforts to earn profits from digital advertising and other marketing services, is now trying its hand at implementing a clever ecommerce feature. Twitter, a competing social network, had already experimented with a Twitter Commerce feature. 

According to a recent report, the company is testing it as a trial phase for a limited number of small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). The report details a scenario in which businesses may add a button to purchase an item from an ad directly in the target users' news feeds. The option is already in use on Facebook.

Modify watches is a company that offers a variety of styles to "mix-and-match" their products is taking part in the experiment. Within the newsfeed, a watch is displayed in a sponsored post with a buy button included in the post. Also, within the post, there is a link to a blog post announcing Facebook's endeavor with the ecommerce testing phase. 

One reporter noted that Facebook said it would not "disqualify" the option of charging for the buy button option in the future. The company is reportedly testing on both the desktop/mobile version of the website as well as its mobile app, which is available on several device platforms such as iOS and Android. 

Facebook doesn't want users to leave the site after purchasing either. This follows a trend among websites and social media networks online. 

This new development is a test that is part of a few ecommerce ideas Facebook is toying with at the moment. It was also reported that a few months ago, Facebook also hired former PayPal head David Marcus, who left PayPal amidst eBay's breach of security that led to over 100 million vulnerable user accounts and loss of revenue. PayPal is owned by eBay. 

Facebook wants Marcus to develop alternative ways for the social network to monetize and exploring ecommerce is one of those ways. Facebook also acquired Karma, a secure gift buying platform for the social network. They paid $80 million for it. 

Facebook said in their blog post that they have also taken privacy and security precautions in implementing this test ecommerce feature. It remains to be seen if the buy button will be popular with users or not.

 

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