Facebook seems to be introducing many new features in the last few weeks. Hot on the heels of its promoted posts, where users can pay a fee and see their posts highlighted, is news about the collections feature called Facebook Collections. Most brands are already a visible presence on the social media sites and Facebook is a leader in the pack. Products and services gain more visibility when featured here, becoming the talking point for loyal followers. Facebook is extending this idea of brand presence and has introduced its ‘Collections’ feature. Even as we speak, there’s a test running for the same.
It would be a mistake to think of this new feature as a mere photo album. ‘Collections’ aims to give users an insight into how businesses and companies think and function. In fact, it shows up as a distinctly different post from what you might see when you visit the home page of the enterprise. There’s a lot a user can do, you can want, like or collect a product and every time you do so, it shows up on your Timeline under the ‘Products’ title. You’ll also be able to see it on your News Feed, share your news with friends and buy products too.
But of course there might be products we adore but don’t have the money for just yet. Once you ‘collect’ the product you’re coveting, it gets sent to your wishlist. You’ll find this tool rather handy when you think about the companies that are part of this exercise- Michael Kors, Fab.com, Pottery Barn, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and Victoria’s Secret are just some of the names we are seeing right now. Imagine who else might join in as time passes!
This is a situation where the user stands to gain. He is on Facebook on a daily basis, maybe multiple times through the day and so he gets to see products on his own time rather than visit the page. Apart from this, he can actually create an open line of purchase, something lacking in a lot of other sites. For instance, Pinterest is a gorgeous website and you might like everything on it, but you have to visit the merchandising site if you want to make a purchase. The collections feature on Facebook bridges this gap, which is a huge advantage for the site.
For Facebook and the companies that are on the social media site, this is a great opportunity to further understand how customers make decisions about products. Even if Facebook is not making money with the brands, the learning from this exercise can be valuable for future plans. Brands are allowed to set up links and so purchases do not take place on the media site.
Facebook hopes to bring in revenue through its system called Gifts. Again this is an extension of the company’s previous idea where users could share flowers and furry toys in the form of icons. Now you can get to the gift store and buy an actual physical gift. Or share what you think your friend might like on his or her page and once it has been approved, have it shipped to them. This way everyone is happy, including Facebook.
Facebook does rely on these kinds of business models for revenue and is always on the lookout for new ways to monetize. The new collections feature may well be a step in the right direction.
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