Facebook hopes to boost its image with an all-new addition that is now in the works. As a way of competing with Pinterest, Facebook will add COLLECTIONS.
With Facebook Collections, you will be able to create collections of photos and items of interest from the pages of a select group of retailers. The photos will appear in your collection and on your wall (if you so choose). Your friends will be able to see the items you have collected and add them to their own collections as they wish. Initially, items will be collectible from Fab.com, Smith Optics, Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret, Wayfair and Pottery Barn.
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is performing several series of tests on three separate incarnations of the Facebook Collections feature. Approaches vary from one to the other with such options as wish lists and photo-sharing available to users. FaceBook is experimenting with the types of buttons used to collect and share items. Choices include COLLECT, WANT and LIKE. Each of the three groups conducting the testing will make use of one of these types of buttons, which all perform the function of adding a desired item to the user’s collection. Eventually, all three choices will lead to product pages where items can be bought. The idea of the testing is to determine which choice is the most enticing in terms of compelling users to follow through with a purchase.
Facebook claims that this new feature, which is much like Pinterest, is in no way a response to Pinterest. One thing that is very different from Pinterest is the fact that you can’t just collect anything. Items are specific to certain online shopping sites. Regardless of whether this new option is or isn’t a Pinterest spin-off, it’s a pretty interesting addition to FaceBook, and at this point in time FaceBook doesn’t even plan to charge affiliate fees for its use. Of course, that could easily change as time passes, but for the time being, it’s an excellent opportunity. Perhaps in the future, people who use FaceBook will be able to earn credits, points or even money by participating in this function.
As far as Facebook’s claims that this offering is nothing like Pinterest, well, that hardly seems true. After all, across the board, the big players are stealing ideas from each other. Look at eBay’s addition of social media. Nonetheless, FaceBook has had the concept of photo-sharing for a long time, so it’s not as if Pinterest invented it. Aside from Pinterest, other platforms such as Path and Fancy use photo-sharing with a commercial element, so that’s really not an earth-shaking concept. It’s the idea of adding a commerce element to an existing social media site that makes Facebook’s addition really interesting.
With the tremendous amount of traffic dedicated to FaceBook, it’s easy to speculate that the popular social media site will quickly dominate the online shopping world. The only thing that might get in the way of this is the sheer volume of add-ons available from FaceBook. People may have a hard time finding the Facebook Collections feature. On the other hand, FaceBook users are accustomed to signing up for free stuff from FaceBook, so the fact that the service will be introduced for free is a strong sign for success.
Unlike other platforms that offer photo-sharing with items for sale, people log onto FaceBook for all kinds of reasons – not just to purchase things. That could mean a tremendous amount of traffic for this feature or it could mean that shopping on FaceBook falls by the wayside as secondary. It will be interesting to see how it plays out as time passes.