Facebook is the latest social network to take a page out of Pinterest’s playbook with a new pinboard-inspired tool called Collections. The feature is a visual mechanism that gives brands and retailers the ability to add Want and Collect buttons to their product posts – and when users click, they create (and share) wishlists while also giving click-through purchasing power.
Publicly-owned Facebook is still fighting Wall Street and its disappointment with the social network’s revenue streams, or lack thereof. There’s been overwhelming criticism and concern about how Facebook will turn its mass reach and escalating user numbers into profit, and the company has responded accordingly with brand-focused features rolling out fast and furiously.
Businesses can now add Collections to their Facebook arsenals. “We’ve seen that businesses often use Pages to share information about their products through photo albums,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their product [through Collections].”
Facebook says Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com will get the first crack at Collections starting today. The tool will be a new type of Page post option for brands – so it will show up with the Photo and Status update box. “For this test, people will be able to engage with these Collections by ‘liking,’ ‘collecting,’ or ‘wanting’ the products,” says Facebook. “We are testing these three actions, and we are creating three distinct groups of users to test each action.”
For the time being, this is only available within Facebook, there’s no social plugin for brands’ to integrate into their own sites.
Pinterest inarguably injected some organization into the digital collection trend we’ve seen taking over the Internet. The process of virtually hoarding and presenting “things” has become big business, and much ado has been made about the purchase-driving power of Pinterest. While there’s some skepticism at how effective the pinning-repinning model actually is when it comes to bottom lines, it has certainly built a reputation for itself as the hot, new way to format your digital storefront.
Don’t go thinking this is a Pinterest-killer, because it isn’t in the slightest: There’s no discovery element, and it’s available to brands-only (at least for the time being). Pinterest is a platform, and Collections a mere feature. It isn’t going to revolutionize how brands’ target and woo consumers, but it’s certainly a convincing argument to keep their businesses active on Facebook.