Facebook to Launch Shops on Marketplace and WhatsApp

Mark Zuckerberg posted this afternoon on his Facebook page that there are more features coming soon to support businesses and make shopping easier across Facebook-owned properties.

  • Instagram Visual Search: helps you discover products based on images that inspire you (I’ll use it to find more grey t-shirts.“
  • Shops on Marketplace: more than 1 billion people use Marketplace each month, so we’re making it easy for businesses to bring their Shops into Marketplace to reach even more people.”
  • Shops on WhatsApp: soon you’ll be able to view a Shop in WhatsApp so you can chat with a business before buying something. Businesses only need to set up their shop once to have it work across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”
  • Shop Ads: we’re launching new ads to personalize the shopping experience and point you to a Shop’s curated collection.”

Facebook Social Commerce Aspirations

All of these new features should bring more attention to Facebook’s online commerce aspirations, enabling businesses to take greater advantage of tightly integrated social media and ecommerce functions.

With Social Commerce being the norm in much of Asia, there is still a lot of work to do to bring social media and online commerce together in the U.S. and Europe.

Newer marketplaces like Poshmark are already embracing the social commerce experience to attract younger shoppers in the U.S., including a recent tie-in with Snapchat. But it may be social media companies like Facebook that can truly build on the phenomenon with tightly integrated solutions.

But as it stands today, Facebook’s social commerce is more of an “old-world“ ecommerce experience — search, order, pay — not yet the more modern social commerce we see from Asia, with live streaming being a major component of the shopping experience.

Facebook has been launching business tools, and the fundamental technology exists on the platform to mimic Asian-style social commerce, but it seems the full immersion experience, and maybe the acceptance, will still take some time.

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