Facebook Is Testing Dedicated Shopping Feed For Shopaholics
According to a new report, Facebook is currently testing a brand new feature - a dedicated shopping feed, which will make life easier for Shoppers and enables advertisers and businesses to better showcase their products. The shopping feed aggregates posts and photos about products on sale from different retailers and displays them to users.
Facebook has confirmed that it started testing this new feature since last month by letting merchants host whole product catalogs on the pages that load inside Facebook instead of kicking users to a mobile browser. This new feature is only being tested with a limited number of users right now and Facebook will only decide after the feedback whether or not this feature will go live for everyone.
According to a survey from the social network giant, nearly 50% of users come to Facebook looking for products, and the Shopping feed could pull those out of the chaos of friends and news in the main feed. The shopping feed is accessed by tapping on the Favorites section in the mobile app where the feed will be presented. There you will be presented with a feed of products that businesses have chosen to highlight on their Pages, personalized based on things like your Facebook connections, likes and interests.
Facebook's product marketing lead for mobile app ads and commerce Emma Rodgers, says that this ad experience has been designed to help businesses with the shift to mobile. One of the challenges, she said, is that users may click on a product ad in Facebook, then find themselves taken to a website that does not load quickly enough or has not been fully optimized for smartphones. She further adds that this new feed will give marketers a post-click creative space to achieve their business objectives by creating a fast, slick browsing experience for users who have already expressed an interest by clicking on their ads.
It is worth noting, however, that the ad still takes you to the retailer's website, eventually. While Facebook is, as mentioned, testing its own Buy button, that button is not being used in the current iteration of Canvas ads. Rodgers said the focus here is on the product discovery and product research experience, rather than on the actual purchase.
While the feature seems to be useful to shoppers, its future is dependent on the reaction of the test audience, which will ultimately be a factor that Facebook considers before deciding whether or not it wants to enable this for all of its billion-plus users.