updated 06:12 pm EDT, Mon October 8, 2012
Users could create wishlists of products
Facebook is said to be partnering with retailers in testing a feature that would bring a "Want" button to e-commerce sites, allowing users of the social network to generate wishlists of items that would be shared with their friends. Reuters reports that Facebook hopes to leverage its billion-strong user base to secure a strong position in e-commerce, with users purchasing items off of Facebook. The feature is currently in testing, but Facebook hopes to roll it out to all of its US users gradually.
Facebook dubs the new feature Collections, and it consists largely of the addition of a Want button to selected retailers. Facebook is currently working with seven retailers, including Pottery Barn and Victoria's Secret, in testing the feature.
When a user clicks the Want button, it is added to a Collection that that user's friends can see. Currently, Facebook does not receive a commission when people click through to purchase a product. Despite this fact, observers believe that Facebook could still monetize the Want feature by receiving payment from retailers looking to promote products featured on users' wishlists.
Facebook has been taking steps toward building a larger presence in the e-commerce sector, as the social network looks to increase revenues in the face of investor pressure. Earlier this year, the company purchased social-gifting startup Karma, and it later introduced Facebook Gifts, allowing users to purchase physical gifts from more than 100 retailers.