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Facebook reportedly testing a “Want” button for retailers


Facebook is reportdly testing a “Want” button to go along side its existing “Like” button.

First reported by Inside Facebook, the existence of the button was uncovered by developer Tom Waddington from Cut Out + Keep, who noticed that a disabled “Want” button had been added as an XFMBL tag — <fb:wants> — to-be added to the existing list of Social Plugins. Apparently this “Want” button could be used by third party developers, who can incorporate the button into an existing platform, likely an e-commerce site, or even a social platform like Pinterest that features products. In fact, the “Want” button will only work on Open Graph objects labeled as “products.”

Currently, the list of applications for Facebook’s “Like” button is innumerable as it’s currently found on blogs, product pages, events, and just about everywhere on the Web. Developing a standalone “Want” button, on the other hand, would be a powerful commerce solution for Facebook. The social network would be able to accumulate a database of product sentiment by shoppers, which could then be used by third party developers. Among the tools that developers could build are wish-lists, and product recommendations.

More importantly for Facebook, a product-focused button would be a boon to advertisers, who could then further target ads for Facebook users based on the users’ desires for similar products. Imagine the power of undercutting your competition. For example, an advertiser like Pepsi may offer a 30 percent discount for a 12-pack to the Facebook users who have “wanted” Coca-Cola.

Finally, there’s the benefit of having a product appear on a Facebook user’s Timeline and Newsfeed.

According to Waddington, the Facebook “Want” button can be implemented in its present state, which he had done on his blog.

Facebook want button

For those of you who are savvy with FBML can try implementing the rather simple tag below.

<fb:want href=”…”></fb:want>

However, Waddington found that plugin returns an error. At the moment, though a developer can implement the button, it won’t do anything, nor will clicking “Want” show up in your Timeline.

facebook want button error

Among other tags that Waddington had uncovered that Facebook is testing out include “degrees,” “page events,” “privacy selector” and “social context,” a plugin that enables developers to select a keyword (including Coca-Cola and Harry Potter, which Waddington had tested on his blog) and return a list of the friends that have liked these pages.

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