As if the constant presence of advertisements wasn’t enough (or too much for Users), Facebook, under constant pressure to increase revenue from it Institutional shareholders, is working on adding a Buy button to its advertising feeds. This is akin to the “Buy Now” button that is seen on many retail websites that usually immediately connects you to a payment processor such as PayPal or a credit card company. The goal is to make it easier for advertisers to immediately benefit from having their ads in front of Facebook Users and having these Users act on impulse. Of course, Facebook would be able to sell more ads if this feature were available and possibly take a percentage of the sale as well. Surely a win-win for Facebook, although not necessarily a win for those Facebook Users who lack self control or make on-line purchases on impulse. You can learn more about the marketing angle of this here.
This buy button concept was developed by San Francisco based Stripe. This company has done similar work for Twitter, Apple and china based Alipay. As more and more the interaction with the social networks turns mobile – using smartphones, tablets and phablets, the more important it becomes for advertisers and product sellers to have a way to reach and interact with these mobile Users. Having the ability to buy something that you are viewing right at that moment is extremely valuable – at least for the seller. This does fit into the set-it-and-forget-it mentality that certainly persists in the world today, especially among the socially connected and active. This becomes a true boon to brands and advertisers if this can be perfected. Seamless mobile transactions that occur right as the product is being pitched is truly a technological leap – one that works for the firms that are willing to pay for it.
Twitter has, in an unusual step for them, beat Facebook to the punch on this. They unveiled their buy button a bit ago, and as mentioned it was developed in coordination with Stripe. It is still too early to gauge the success of the button in terms of sales, but it is a great sales angle for Twitter, and no doubt Facebook does not want to miss out. The other social networks will surely be close behind (ready to click that YouTube video to buy the album?).
Here is an image of the buy button on the Twitter mobile app:
Facebook’s buy button will work similarly, and won’t look too much different. Stay tuned – more shopping ahead!