Social shopping flounders
14 October 2011 - 11:00 by Graham Miller
Facebook and eBay are hoping that the relatively poor performance of social shopping services will not be a terminal problem and as such, they are investing heavily in new ways to let people carry out shopping online whilst interacting with friends and family.
Facebook has been at the forefront of promoting social shopping in recent months but unlike some of its other experiments, such as integrated gaming, there has not been a huge level of interest.
Auction giant, eBay is hoping to make social shopping easy to combine with current networking sites by launching X.commerce, its new open source retail platform which third party companies can modify to suit their needs.
Spokesperson, Matthew Mengerink explained that safe shopping online is currently focused on the actions of the individual and it can be a little isolating as an experience. He hopes that X.commerce will change all that, making shopping a social and entertaining activity, according to the Financial Times.
The eBay open platform for retail is looking to jump on the back of Facebook's vast pool of users in order to find success. The two companies have a direct link in the form of Katie Mitic who is not only head of Facebook's mobile marketing division but also a freshly appointed board member at eBay, which suggests much closer ties will form in the future.
Facebook is attempting to get far more social interaction available to its users and it is now possible for people to automatically share what news stories they have read via embedded publications and what music they have listened to on the streaming service, Spotify.
It seems that shopping is the next logical step, with Facebook users instantly able to show friends what they have just purchased thanks to integration with features based on eBay's X.commerce platform.