Watch out, Pinterest: Facebook tests Collections tool
Social network runs test that includes want, like and collection options
Computerworld - Watch out, Pinterest. Facebook is testing a new feature called Collections, which is designed to give businesses a venue where they can showcase and sell their products.
The new tool gives users three buttons to click when viewing a business's Collection: Want, Like and Collect. The Collections, which can be seen in Facebook's News Feed, are set up so users can check out the collections and share things that interest them with their friends, according to Gwendolyn Belomy, a Facebook spokeswoman.
The tool also is designed to let users click through and buy items in the collections on the retailers' websites.
"We've seen that businesses often use Pages to share information about their products through photo albums," said Belomy. "Yesterday, we began a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections."
Facebook appears to be taking a page from Pinterest's playbook.
Pinterest, a social pinboard site, has gained momentum in the social networking world. Users, especially women, have flocked to the site to use what basically is a shareable scrapbook. Users are able to create different pages of interest by pulling in images from around the Web.
If someone spots an image -- of a cute puppy, shoes, an inspiring quote or an interesting recipe -- she can use a plug-in to grab it and add it to her board. Then people who follow that person can see her pinboards, repin their favorite images and comment on them.
"Facebook is definitely making a move toward Pinterest, while also finding a way to engage more businesses," said Dan Olds, an analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group. "To me, they're looking to take some of the Pinterest mojo and see if they can mold it into something that will result in more business-friendly activity and get them more advertising dollars."
Olds said Facebook may have two motives. "The first, and most important, is to show business users that Facebook is a valuable resource and their best value in online advertising," he said. The company's other motive, he added, may be "to blunt Pinterest's growth before it becomes a real challenge to Facebook's business community ambitions."
One of the first things Facebook did with this test was to recruit businesses to help it gauge the effectiveness of Collections.
The company did not specify how many users are involved in the test, or how long it will run. However, Belomy noted that participants include retailers Pottery Barn, Wayfair.com, Victoria's Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics and Fab.com.
As part of the test, users will be able to "like," "collect" or "want" the products in the collections. If a user clicks one of those buttons, the information will appear on his Timeline and can be made available to his friends.
Images within the collections, according to Belomy, also will have a "Buy" button that will send users to the business's website, where they can purchase the product.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin and on Google+, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is email@example.com.
- What to expect in Facebook's earnings call today
- Could you quit Facebook for 99 days?
- Facebook is a school yard bully that's going down
- EPIC says Facebook 'messed with people's minds,' seeks FTC sanctions
- 7 things you need to know about Facebook's mood experiment
- Facebook emotional manipulation test turns users into 'lab rats'
- Facebook tries to stop Snapchat drain with Slingshot
- TMI! Facebook moves to stop over-sharing
- Inside Facebook's brilliant plan to hog your data
- Facebook shows mobile app developers the money with new ad network
Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.
- Social Media in Technology: A Unified Strategy for Success Find out how social media is sparking a new era of customer and industry-understanding in technology enterprises and how industry leaders are overcoming...
- The Truth About Virtual Computing for CAD If you're a user of graphics-intensive software such as 3D modeling, simulation and analysis, and visualization, you might be skeptical about moving to...
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- ESG Lab Report: Virident FlashMAX Connect Performance Advantage with vCache on a single Oracle instance View Now>>
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Why Are Customers Really Deploying an NGFW? It seems every IT Security expert is talking about the NGFW, but what are people really doing? This webcast covers 5 real-world customer... All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!