By Ruth Corrigan and Oliver Killick, Mindshare
Since its inception in April 2010, the Facebook ‘like’ button has acted as a currency of advocacy across Facebook. More recently the ‘like’ button was extended to third-party sites – allowing them to benefit from the traffic on Facebook’s own huge network. Integration of Facebook on Spotify and within apps such as The New York Times allows users to show what they are ‘listening to’ or ‘reading’. This content automatically appears in your Ticker and is visible to your friends (unless you opt out). Facebook’s newest advocacy offering is ‘Collections’, a service they’re beta testing with 7 US advertisers. Details
Collections allow users to create a ‘wishlist’ of products which show up in their timeline. As part of the beta Facebook is looking at whether users respond better to a button called ‘collect’, ‘want’ or ‘like’ (separate from the existing ‘Like’ button) and whether the wish lists should be shared with friends and friends of friends, or just friends. One thing’s for sure; wish lists will include links to buy the products on the retailers’ e-commerce site. Implications
Currently this service is a free offering and Facebook aren’t taking a cut of any sales. Collections posts will only be displayed to friends or friends and friends of friends who have also ‘liked’ the item’s Facebook Page. The product therefore encourages brands to continue to invest in building their following within the network.
Collections offers a way of socializing the e-commerce experience, potentially opening up new revenue streams in the future. It also gives brands and retailers the opportunity to have greater insight into their social ROI. Brands could look to capitalize on Collections by, for example, rewarding users who ‘collect’ their products with an introductory offer or voucher. This product also has potential implications for Pinterest whose more casual users may find Collections good enough to replace their Pin boards. Summary
- Collections is still in beta testing, so the offering that Facebook will roll out is as yet unclear
- The opportunity to create a wish list of products provides an opportunity for brands to capitalize on clear affirmation of a product, over and above the trusty ‘like’
- This adds another dimension to Facebook’s ad offering and allows brands to better measure ROI from the platform