On Monday, Facebook quietly debuted its new ‘Collections’ feature with seven initial retail partners which included Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, and Michael Kors. Through Facebook Collections, users can interact with a brand’s products beyond the ‘like,’ by ‘wanting’ and ‘collecting’ photos of items, which get added to a special ‘products’ section of their timelime. Collection items also include a direct link to purchase the product off the brand’s e-commerce website.
This bold move by the social networking platform may have put it far ahead of Pinterest as a powerful driver that directly delivers consumers to the point of purchase. No doubt that there are plans to connect Facebook Collections with the recently announced “gifting” feature, which would yield even more purchase activity. Retailers are overjoyed…but did Facebook make the right decision?
For a lot of Facebook users, the platform has appeared to be profit-driven rather than people-driven since going public. And users may be skeptical about performing any sort of purchase transaction through the social network known for its frequent privacy issues.
Only time will tell if Facebook Collections resonates with its 1 billion users and counting. My challenge to marketers and agencies is to take Facebook collections beyond a “click to buy” catalogue function. While I am skeptical of the new feature, I am hopeful that the industry will be able to find creative and innovative ways to connect products with people.