Facebook ‘Want’ Button Coming

October 21, 2012 — Leave a comment

In addition to “liking” something on Facebook, users could soon be hitting “Collect” and “Want” buttons.

Facebook confirmed its plans to test a purchasing system in the near future, incorporating several retailers in the United States.

The buttons will allow users to tag products that they would like to buy or have their eye on.

“They’re identical,” said Tom Waddington from his home via Skype.

Waddington, a web developer for UK based Cut Out + Keep, an online community based on crafts, was the first to stumble across the “Want” coding. While looking through Facebook’s Javascript – the coding language the social media site uses – he spotted the “Want” button, and was curious about it.

“Stuff comes and goes quite a bit, actually. They’ll try new features, stuff will get shifted around – it’s active,” said Waddington. “With the ‘Want’ button, it just worked straight on.”

Waddington said he received error messages that lead him to figure out the button only worked with retail products, which is when he realized the functionality.

Eli Lewin, the e-Business program coordinator for Humber’s Business School, is aware of Facebook establishing an e-commerce presence. The move, said Lewin, is a way for Facebook to generate more profit.

“(Facebook) issued shares to the market and the price of their shares went down signficantly,” said Lewin. “They would like to increase their revenue.”

Lewin suggested Facebook would be wise to hire former Amazon.com or eBay employees to aid them in integrating the buttons and turning them into revenue generators.

“Facebook doesn’t want to be the Amazons of the world,” said Dr. Norman Shaw, an assistant professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Retail Management. “They want to be a portal.”

Shaw said Facebook will likely look to get commissions from the sales of items through their “Want” and “Collect” buttons, rather than attempt to warehouse items like Amazon does.

Currently testing in the United States, “Want” and “Collect” will feature several retailers, including Victoria’s Secret and Pottery Barn.

(Originally written for and posted at The Humber Etcetera. Link: http://humberetc.com/2012/10/19/facebook-enters-sales-market/)

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