- Facebook Collections represents a significant opportunity for the social network to increase not only its overall value, but the potential to commercialise its data.
- Data collected from Facebook Collections has the potential to provide businesses with contextual knowledge about consumer purchase intent.
Facebook has put to rest rumours circulating amongst the developer community that it is launching a ‘want’ button, with the announcement of its new Collections feature.
Speaking about the new service, a Facebook spokesperson explained to the AllFacebook blog: “We’ve seen that businesses often use pages to share information about their products through photo albums. Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections.”
Facebook Collections is available through select US retailers including: Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, Smith Optics, Wayfair and Fab.com. The service essentially allows users to ‘want’, ‘like’ or ‘collect’ products that these retailers display within their Facebook feeds. The images of these products are then highlighted on the user’s timelines, as well as aggregated into a Pinterest-like wish list which they can share with others and/or purchase (via the retailer’s website).
Although the service is currently free for retailers and only available via the Facebook interface, there is undoubtedly a commercial opportunity for Facebook to build on this service. Facebook Collections, along with the extension of its individual promoted posts service, indicates that the social network is innovating in order to broaden its offering, as well as increase its value – something that has been continually questioned since its IPO.
For businesses that may have been struggling with the notion of how to leverage the social network for tangible gains, Facebook Collections represents an avenue through which to gain contextual knowledge and actively target those consumers seemingly ready to purchase.
The question is: what will be the worth of this data?