What do Pinterest, Polyvore, and Facebook all have in common? On the surface, not much. One is an online pin board, one is a fashion haven, and the other is a social media network. But they’re about to get a lot more similar with the addition of Facebook Collections, the latest in Facebook’s long list of features. It’ll make Facebook not just a social media hub but a huge purchasing and shopping space as well, just like juggernauts Pinterest and Polyvore.
Facebook already offers Pages, where companies can show off goods and alert customers to sale. But what’s missing? There is no direct line to purchase the products seen. Sure, Page owners can post links, but Collections will go far beyond. Starting with big-name retailers including Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus and Fab.com, Facebook Collections will allow you to browse products for sale. There, you can save certain items to your wish list and create your own personal collection of must-have items. These items can be liked, lusted after, and purchased, and all of them will be posted to your News Feed for others to see.
Here’s what a Facebook spokesperson told AllFacebook.com, breaking the news this morning: “We’ve 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 feeds, 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 of Facebook.”
If this feature stays relatively small and is only offered to big-name retailers, the ones to benefit are the users, who finally have a direct line between products and purchasing power. However, if Facebook extends the service to small retailers as well, it could essentially revolutionize online shopping by making Facebook a veritable one-stop shop for networking, social time, and yes, even shopping.