Facebook have announced a new feature on their social networking site that they hope will rival the commercial power of the increasingly popular Pinterest.
At the moment the new feature on Facebook is only in the testing stages but the new “want” button from Facebook will work in a similar way to their existing “like” button except the want button will have a commercial dimension to it.
The want button will allow Facebook users to be able to create their very own online wish list of products in a similar way to they way boards are created on the Pinterest site.
Currently the want button is still in development with only a few retailers being used to test the button and its success at converting interest into purchases.
Monday will see the launch of the Facebook “Collections” feature and this will essentially see users being able to choose either to want, like or collect on brand users sites.
From the description of the collections feature on Facebook users will engage with the function in a similar way to Pinterest. Users will be able to click on an image and then it will appear on their timeline profile page for their friends to be able to see if they want, collect or like the product.
This pilot scheme is being touted as a possible answer to increasing revenues on Facebook. Previous attempts to raise revenue through the enormous user base has fallen short of expectations for investors in Facebook while Pinterest has seen revenue go through the roof through the sites users buying items that were clicked through pins.
At the moment the collections feature is still in testing stages but some big name retailers have been picked to be part of the trial including Victoria’s Secret, the Pottery Barn and Neiman Marcus.
While the feature is aimed at bringing in revenue to Facebook the first stages of collections will not see Facebook collecting any money, this could later come through advertising campaigns incorporating the want feature or allowing people to buy products directly through Facebook.
A spokesman from Facebook said: “We have seen that businesses often use pages to share information about their products through photo albums. Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections.
“Collections can be discovered in News Feed, and 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 Facebook.”
Facebook will have to work hard to convert their users into customers as currently Pinterest users are some of the biggest spenders within social media.
RichRelevance said that in the first eight months of 2012 Facebook accounted for 86 percent of visits but when a user bought something a Facebook user would spend an average of $94 while those coming from Pinterest spent an average of $169.
The new collections feature from Facebook will have to be as appealing as Pinterest for similar users to then convert their wants into cash for companies.