October 25th, 2012

short url: http://beeseen.com/s/2i

Facebook Competing with Pinterest

Facebook is rolling out a new retail initiative that will mirror some of the unique features of Pinterest, a social photo sharing website. Facebook plans on offering some brands the option to post pictures of products on its newsfeed with actions including ”like,” “want,” and “collect.”  Products within a collection will also have a Buy link, which will enable users to click through to websites to purchase products.  Facebook is currently working with Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, Wayfair, Neiman Marcus, Fab.com and Smith Optics on the effort, which it calls “Collections.”

These photos will only appear if the brand has been liked by a user, or any of the user’s friends.  The images pop up on the newsfeed.  And from there, users can comment, like and share products and collections.  They can also click through and buy items directly from Facebook.  The main feature that will differentiate Facebook’s new initiative from Pinterest is the “Buy” component.

At this time, the new roll-out will mean no additional revenue for Facebook.  A Facebook rep stated that Facebook would not be receiving a cut of any of the transactions.  However, if this initiative is successful, affiliate marketing programs will surely follow.

We all know that visual content on social sharing networks is remarkable at driving engagement and awareness.  There has recently been a huge shift to visual content and imagery in social media sites.  Pinterest and Instagram are popular social image-based sharing networks that have seen tremendous growth and engagement from their users.  These sites continue to enjoy rapid growth as visual communication becomes the preference for many over text content.  Facebook will need to constantly innovate its platform and offerings to compete with other niche social sharing sites.

Leave a Reply