Facebook is testing a shopping feed with products highlighted by retailers that matches likes and connections of the users.
It is not surprising that Facebook is experimenting with breaking out the newsfeed into subcategories. This shopping feed is part of a larger initiative as Facebook is also testing a dedicated video feed.
We will have to wait how exactly this will turn out. It is not the first time Facebook is trying out something like this. But feeds for specific use cases make sense. Especially if you think in mobile terms. Specific feeds can easily morph into their own stand alone apps if they prove themselves useful.
When people click on products from ads in their News Feed, the mobile websites they’re directed to often take a while to load and aren’t optimized, increasing the chance that people will drop off.
That’s why we’re testing a new ad experience called Canvas that helps businesses drive any advertising objective, from brand building to driving sales. We’ve been testing Canvas with a number of businesses since we first unveiled this in June. Over the coming weeks we’ll begin testing a new experience on Canvas. After clicking on an ad, people will see a fast-loading, full-screen experience where they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase.
We’ve also seen that people discover new products across multiple areas on Facebook—News Feed, Pages, and Groups. In the coming weeks we’ll begin testing a single place for people to more easily discover, share and purchase products. We’re testing with a limited set of small businesses in the US who are also testing the Shop section on Pages. Their products will be eligible to appear there. Over time we’ll explore incorporating additional content into this experience, such as items listed for sale in Facebook Groups.
This is part of a larger trend of social discovery which we are seeing already with Pinterest.
It is an early experimental stage.1
- Especially Facebook has time to figure this out. Its main revenue stream will be brand advertising. Getting a cut from e-commerce by becoming a middleman for discovery is (potentially but for the time being hypothetically) very lucrative icing on the cake for Facebook. Being in no rush gives Facebook much needed head room here. ↩