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People want what they want, when they want it – Facebook button

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Facebook has finally brought months of speculation to an end as they announced their testing of a new feature called Collections...

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October 9, 2012 5:00 by



When Facebook hit their one billion user mark, we learned that since 2009, the ‘Like’ button has been clicked approximately 1.1 trillion times. It may be hard to remember a time when the social network didn’t have the option of a like button but it’s true.

After months of speculation, the multi-billion dollar company has announced its running of tests with established global retailers to introduce a new feature that they have dubbed ‘Collections’. Under the umbrella of this feature; a ‘want’ button, not very different from the ‘like’ button we have all grown to love, that allows users to express admiration for a product, and possibly buy it too.

“People will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook,” the company said in a statement. Retail partners at launch include Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Wayfair.com, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Fab.com, and Smith Optics.

Despite it still being in the ‘testing’ phase, the potential of this latest roll-out could give the global e-commerce industry its most anticipated boost yet. Monetising the Internet has always been a shady topic of great debate but grand progress as well. This potential development could finally give that argument a run for its money.

“There has been a significant global shift in consumer behaviour, away from supply driven consumption to demand driven – people want what they want, when they want it and on their own terms.  The new Facebook ‘want’ button reflects this.  Audiences will ‘like’ brands as a means of demonstrating who they are and what is important to them,” says Sarah Messer, Director of Media at Nielsen.

The ‘Collections’ process comprises of “three actions being tested separately” that include the ‘Like’, the ‘Want’ and the ‘Collect’. Any product admired through an enticing picture that a user ‘collects’ or ‘likes’ will be automatically placed into a new timeline area called ‘Products’ for their friends to see.

“We know that people hugely trust their family and friends’ opinions.  The new ‘want’ button is another way for both audiences to show even more strength in their desires, aspirations and wants, and for advertisers to understand who their audience is and find ways to reach them with new products and ideas. It has the potential to bring a new visible level of engagement, loyalty and insight to a brand,” added Messer.

Don’t worry, liking or collecting a product won’t make a dent in your pocket as it’s merely used to express desire or admiration. To ‘want’ a product is to add it instantly to your wish list, where you can then purchase it. This isn’t the first mention of the ‘Want’ button as the potential release of a similar feature hit the rumour mills back in June. All in all, when rolled out, will be a great way for retailers to harness interest for their products as well as simultaneously gain exposure.

“Rather than liking a brand, consumers will now be able to indicate where their preferences lie, regarding products and services. For advertisers, the data available from this kind of action on Facebook, will allow better targeted advertising and re-marketing. It’s an exciting new development,” says Byron Koller, Digital Marketing Director from daily deal site Cobone.com

Still, what with the company’s some would call floppy IPO results, for it to take on the world of e-commerce with big players like Amazon and E-bay just around the corner is risky. Nevertheless, Amy McFarling from LBi Mena says that this development could potentially yield significant Return On Investment.

“The idea of a ‘want’ button is really powerful for brands. It introduces the potential effectiveness of sites like Pinterest at driving retail traffic when combined with the one billion person-strong Facebook audiences. Going beyond just the potential retail benefits, it delivers brands with a new layer of data about consumer intent that they have never had before,” she said.

All Facebook users need now is the highly asked for ‘dislike’ button and we can expect smiles all around.

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