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E-Commerce Features Announced for Social Media Services

02 May 2019 - 16:07 by Simon Crisp

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Facebook is undergoing another revamp, with Mark Zuckerberg’s market-leading platform seeking to integrate a plethora of new capabilities that will help users carry out safe shopping online in various ways.

This is not just something that affects the main service itself but also the other social networking platforms that fall under the Facebook umbrella; most notably image-sharing solution Instagram and instant messaging application WhatsApp.

With almost two and a half billion users spread across all of its platforms, Facebook has a huge opportunity not only to advertise to consumers but also to sell products directly to them. This means that there will no longer be a need to click through to third-party retail sites.

Of course, with Facebook announcing integrated e-commerce features, the likelihood is that it will take a big slice out of the market that is currently dominated by Amazon. This is arguably no bad thing, since Amazon’s monopoly over online shopping is seen as anti-competitive, and this injection of rivalry might force it to up its game going forwards.

One thing that Facebook will be able to harness in its move towards the e-commerce market is the influence of celebrities. Famous people are already forging huge partnerships with retailers and brands via their social profiles, so it makes sense to leverage this even further with direct purchasing capabilities.

By linking a sales solution directly to its social media platforms, Facebook will also be able to give advertisers a much better idea of exactly how effective their campaigns are in relation to consumer uptake.

The one thing that Facebook will need to overcome is the slightly dubious reputation that it has developed in recent years, with the selling of user data and the proliferation of fake news making its record less than squeaky clean.