Facebook is betting that more of you want to make purchases directly within the social network.
Following the intro of mobile storefronts last month, Facebook has introduced two limited tests for eCommerce today—a Facebook Shopping Feed, which highlights brands and products based on user interests, and Canvas ads, which will allow users to view micro-versions of retail websites & make purchases in-app.
According to a blog post on Facebook’s Business site, the Shopping Feed includes only a small set of US retailers currently also testing the Shop section on Pages (introduced with the “mobile storefronts” update).
Facebook has not specifically said what kinds of products will be found in the Shopping Feed; however, there is a notation that in the future (should the test prove the Shopping Feed valuable), items for sale on places like Facebook Groups will have the chance to be featured. There’s also no indication of how many Facebook users will see the Shopping Feed, though it’s safe to say only those in the US will be within the initial test audience.
As for Canvas ads, Facebook initially tested a version of these beginning in June; with this latest iteration, however, users will have the ability to browse through a wide-variety of products offered by the retailer within a “fast-loading, full-screen experience”.
The idea is similar to Facebook’s Instant Articles, which allows publishers to post content directly onto the social network and earn shared revenues from FB advertisers. With both Facebook products, the concept is the same: keep users within the Facebook app experience, which can offer page load speed reliability and an optimal format for mobile users.