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Facebook adds new wish list creation tool to fuel e-commerce growth

10 October 2012 - 11:02 by Simon Crisp

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While Facebook makes most of its money from advertising, it is attempting to get its billion users to buy more products via safe shopping online from within its blue-tinted pages.

Everyone who uses Facebook will be familiar with its famous Like button, which allows people to register their approval of a particular post, page or person. Now a new Want button is being brought in, which will let people create collections of items which they would like to own at some point in the future.

The Collections feature will let Facebook users share the wish lists they have created in their news feeds and will presumably allow for integration into third party e-commerce sites. This will mean that Facebook social widgets embedded on product pages can receive a certain number of 'Wants,' which should help to determine their popularity.

This service is going live in the US on a limited trial, but a spokesperson for Facebook said that a wider rollout to customers in the UK and further afield was likely at a later date.

Facebook has still not completely settled on what form the new Collections interface and Want buttons will take, so its testing will help it to work out what works best for consumers.

Facebook is already seen as an important player in e-commerce, because people sharing their opinions on products and services with friends can be very influential and is something that advertisers and retailers want to tap into via their own social campaigns.

Whether or not the new approach will help Facebook to actually get more people carrying out safe shopping online through its own channels, remains to be seen. But giving consumers new ways to create wish lists online is not a bad thing.