Not typically ones to lag behind in transforming social media, Facebook is now trying to find new ways to monetize the social networking site. The result? They've been working on with two new features as a way to work with brands and businesses to reach their target consumers. See everything you need to know about Facebook Collections and Facebook Gifts, and how they could benefit bloggers in the future below:
Pinterest has had quite the effect on social shopping, and Facebook has been taking notes.
Facebook Inc. is currently working on a prototype for a feature called Facebook Collections, a photo-based social sharing and shopping section to the already uber-popular networking site. Users can “Want” and “Like” items, as well as buy them, much akin to sites like The Fancy or The Cools.
But will Facebook bring something more to the social e-commerce atmosphere that doesn't already exist?
Quite possibly. The vast amount of data collected on each and every one of its users gives Facebook a huge advantage over competitors like Pinterest. Facebook knows exactly what their customer “likes,” where they go, who they are connected to, etc. — all extremely valuable information to a brand.
It's also been reported that the average Facebook user spends about 405 minutes a month browsing the site — that's roughly 6 to 7 hours of potential “shopping” time. Furthermore, with its networking potential, Facebook Collections won't just introduce products to consumers through discovery, it will actually allow brands to self-advertise through it's sharing structure.
How will Facebook Collections benefit bloggers?
- Since early October, Facebook has been testing the Collections feature with brands like Michael Kors, Victoria's Secret, and Neiman Marcus. As bloggers have been targeted for “pay for pin” or “sponsored tweet” campaigns, Facebook Collections will most likely present another opportunity for bloggers to work with brands by recommending products to their followers.
- Facebook Collections doesn't charge for the feature or take an affiliate fee, according to an article on The Genteel. Which means if you wanted to start posting their own items, like vintage designer shoes, on the site, Facebook won't take a cut of the profit.
- It's also likely Facebook Collections will intermix with “regular” Facebook networking, creating new opportunities to expand your blog's reach through the platform.
Facebook is also attempting to reinstate its “gifting” platform since its acquisition of Karma four months ago. Eventually users will be able send gifts, which will at first start under the value of $50 (like a Starbucks gift certificate), for birthdays, anniversaries, or other occasions.
Much like the “sponsored stories” feature the site already has that appears when a friend mentions a business, Facebook is looking for other “natural” ways of advertising on the social networking platform. For example, if it's someone's birthday, you naturally want to write on their Facebook wall — but what if you could buy them a gift too?
With this feature, Facebook is hoping to overshadow other shopping and gifting sites, such as Amazon, Etsy, and eBay, with their ability to tap into recommending products for people based on the personal information and interactions they use on the site.
How will Facebook Gifting be beneficial to bloggers?
- For bloggers who have e-commerce products, you can list your very own products with Facebook as a gift option, as a new form of advertisement instead of the typical sidebar Facebook ads.
- By looking at the format (it has yet to be made public so I haven't had a chance to try it myself), it also may be possible to incorporate your giveaways through brands using Facebook gifting, which could be a more efficient way of pinpointing target demographics within the 1 billion Facebook users.
The overall push to piece e-commerce and social media together is only growing, and as a fashion blogger, it's an opportune time to make a spot for yourself.
What do you think about Facebook's attempts at incorporating e-commerce into social networking?