Facebook is about to take the “Like” button to a whole new level with the release of the Facebook “Want” button, a setup meant to lure social network users to Facebook partnering e-commerce sites.
The new program allows users to generate wishlists for items they want to purchase and then share those lists with friends.
After clicking on a friend’s wishlist, users are then transferred directly to the online retailers location where the product is available for sale.
Unlike offerings from The Fancy, Pinterest, and other social sharing websites, Facebook does not plan at this time to take a cut from sales. Instead, it is likely that the network will encourage businesses to advertise their “Want” services via the social network. Facebook could also choose to highlight certain items on a users list when a retailer pays to have their products highlighted.
Facebook is rolling out the “Want” button gradually to US Facebook users. So far the program is being tested with Pottery Barn and Victoria’s Secret.
To use the system, a signed in Facebook user simply clicks the “Want” button, which adds the item to their personally Want Collection.
Facebook has been under increased pressure by shareholders to strengthen its stock pricing; by proving its ability to drive e-commerce traffic, the network could find itself at the head of the line for affiliate marketing, a multi-billion industry that typically involves publishers purchasing ad space directly from various websites and ad networks.
The Facebook Want option comes just months after Facebook purchased social-gifting startup Karma before introducing Facebook Gifts, which allows purchases from more than 100 retailers.