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Facebook wants to get its users shopping online

29 July 2014 - 10:49 by Sarah Collinson

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At the moment, Facebook makes most of its money from ads, but the social networking behemoth is looking into the concept of making it easier for users to carry out safe shopping online from within the site itself, according to TechRadar.

Some people will already be seeing the 'Buy' button popping up on their FB news feed, with the idea being that consumers will be able to shop for a variety of products and services, without having to head to third party e-commerce platforms.

This functionality is being rolled out both to the standard desktop Facebook site, as well as its mobile-optimised iteration. And purchases can be completed in one sitting, with users having the option as to whether or not their payment details are saved, which should enhance the security.

Perhaps most important is the fact that Facebook will not actually be privy to any payment card info, so if you want to carry out safe shopping online without giving one of the world's largest businesses access to your debit or credit card details, this is easy to achieve.

In the short term, the Buy button is being trialled predominantly in the US with just a handful of retailers involved. And of course, it will mean more ads with enhanced interactivity are likely to flood into news feeds across the world further down the line.

Whether or not this trend will catch on is a different matter altogether. Recently there have been attempts by Amazon to encourage Twitter users to add items to their basket through promoted tweets, but it is still too early to tell whether or not this has been a success.

Services like Facebook need reliable ways of making money and it seems like e-commerce integration is the best way of achieving this.