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New App Looks To Change How We Buy On Facebook

29 April 2010 - 10:52 by David Aiken

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By now many of us will have heard of a variety of ways in which online retailers can leverage the popularity of the social networking site Facebook, tapping into the potential for e-commerce associated with the site's popularity.

Of late, a number of major brands and, indeed, smaller retailers, have begun to sell from their Facebook 'fan' pages, via applications and more complex stores using Flash-driven applets as well through Facebook's Marketplace page, all attempting to reach consumers who are interested in safe shopping online and are active on Facebook.

Now, however, a detailed understanding as to how users go about their daily business on Facebook-and on what pages they spend most of their time whilst on the social networking site-has allowed one company to develop a new application which may change the way goods are sold on Facebook.

The company in question is Alvenda, which has designed a Facebook app it calls GiftFeed. GiftFeed's premise? To move the point of sale from fan pages and applets to the news feeds and profiles of users, where the company believes that most Facebook consumers actually still spend much of their time, checking on core Facebook functions such as user comments, photos and videos.

Now, with the GiftFeed app, marketers will be able to offer goods to those who enjoy safe shopping online via these news feeds, with the advantage to Facebook users being that they don't need to exit the news feed and hop to a fan page in order to see the offer in question.

GiftFeed makes use of secure 'shoplets', based around Flash technology, which appear on a user's home or profile pages and from where users can complete the transaction if they wish, without having to leave the page. No doubt there will be many other creative attempts to leverage the ever growing Facebook audience.