Yesterday, TechCrunch first reported that it noticed Facebook Collections, a Pinterest-esque feature where users can group photo collections from Brands, similar to the form of “Liking” something was missing. We reached out to Facebook to confirm that Collections isn’t particularly gone, but is going under further evaluation before the social network can proceed with how to launch the product (if at all).
“Product development on Collections has not stopped,” a Facebook representative tells us. “Instead we have completed our initial test of Collections and are now analyzing the data to inform product development. For many of the product tests we do, we periodically pause the test to assess how to best progress with the product’s rollout.”
The rep goes on to elaborate that Facebook is working on a mobile edition on which Collections was previously not available. “We want to build out the mobile experience as well as make enhancements, which we can’t do unless we remove the functionality from external users.”
If you haven’t noticed Collections, you’re not missing much. It’s basically a way for Facebook to monopolize on good marketing and social networking strategies from other websites so Facebook users don’t need to leave the site to enjoy such features. But with the sudden disappearance of Collections, either the team is trying to develop it into something more original than the Pinterest scheme, or it may eventually realize the feature won’t really work well on Facebook. For one, Facebook isn’t necessarily a go-to marketplace, and while brands use it to promote and tease products, users aren’t exactly buying things off the site like they used to with Facebook Gifts. Still, as a now-public company, it is the social network’s responsibility to monetize as best it can, so perhaps this truly is the beginning of the Facebook commercial market on a consumer level.
There are no words on when we can expect to hear about Facebook Collections again, although the limited initial testing probably means not too many of you have even used the feature. For now, it remains in flux — though one thing is certain: Facebook is hell bent on turning a dime by targeting the elusive social shopping market.