The bold feature addition, called Facebook Collections, allows a select group of users to flag images using a special “want” button. Following the footsteps of the increasingly popular Pinterest, it presents another great reason for people to spend more time engaging, curating and sharing directly on Facebook – albeit with a small subset of retail brands, at least for the moment.
For brands, it provides a more specific way to engage consumers in the brand experience as opposed to the traditional ‘like’ button. Who hasn’t questioned the effectiveness of users ‘liking’ a brand on Facebook? By providing the option to curate collections, Facebook can help brands experience greater reach and traction as we are all influenced to some extent by our friends.
While Facebook states its has no plans to monetize the Collections feature, we can imagine this being hotly debated. With one billion users, Facebook Collections could potentially be a huge revenue generator for the company and retailers. Think of the possibilities for brands to gain insights on consumers profiles and interests in line with their “wants” for certain products, or target them through Facebook ads.
Tie that to the ability to purchase goods directly and you now have a great e-commerce platform to tap into Facebook’s growing user base around the world and an easy way for consumers to highlight fashion, home furnishings and other retail products that they want, and purchase them for themselves and their friends.
Time will tell what Facebook really wants to do with Collections, but as a consumer I say, yes, I want it!