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In-app shopping trialled by Facebook

14 October 2015 - 13:01 by Mike Price

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Facebook has long held e-commerce ambitions, but with its latest announcement of in-app purchasing, it could come closer than ever to taking on rivals like Amazon and becoming a retail portal in its own right.

The latest trials of e-commerce integration will allow Facebook users to make purchases via safe shopping online, without having to leave the mobile app created by the social networking giant, according to the Daily Mail.

Facebook spokesperson, Emma Rodgers, said that the launch of the service would ideally make it simpler for users to shop online, while the site will be able to use its vast store of information about people, to help target any ads for products as effectively as possible.

While Facebook has had similar features in the past, the point of the in-app purchasing is to prevent users from going to any third party e-commerce site or branded app. And with the addition of a ‘buy now’ button, which is set to roll out to more and more users over the coming weeks, Facebook could become the first port of call for safe shopping online amongst its 1.5 billion users.

Of course, Facebook is still going to be relying on third parties to provide a lot of the infrastructure to support its e-commerce offering and in the short term at least, it will not be in the same league as Amazon in this respect. But Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild is very much in it for the long haul and by aiming to appeal to mobile users, it will capture the attentions of people on a platform that is particularly well geared towards social media and shopping, alike.

Facebook is not the only social network looking to establish its e-commerce credentials, with Twitter and Pinterest also on the road to shopping transformations.