Facebook started testing a “Buy” button to go directly onto ads and page posts.
Update: On September 8th, 2014, Twitter announced in a blog post that they will indeed begin offering in-app purchasing options. Calling it a ‘test experience’, Twitter also notes that they will be partnering with a wide swath of musical talent from Eminem to Wiz Khalifa, proving that even if The FCC won’t let him be him, Marshall Mathers is still going to sell Detroit Tigers hats.
The new feature, which is being tested via select small to medium- sized American businesses, will allow users to purchase advertised products directly from their News Feed.
From a measurement perspective, the Buy button is pretty much the ultimate Interaction. If this works and is deployed more widely, marketers will be able to set firm top-line goals on direct sales for social campaigns.
To date, social has merely been a reference for a possible sale – a path to another path. The Buy button completely flattens that process. It’s a potential game changer.
It will be interesting to see how this integrates with another new feature – “Save” – a bookmarking tool. As Chad Wittman, founder of EdgeRank Checker, explains, “Save could mean extended life for older links, meaning brands could see increased Interactions over longer time periods. Brands now have even more ways to get in the News Feed (and to stay there) – and the potential to receive hard sales revenue directly from the platform.”
But this isn’t a one-sided race. Twitter also experimented with the “Buy” button in one company’s tweets, although that only lasted one day. The competition could drive both platforms to ramp up their “Buy” feature development – meaning marketers should start preparing their content for that reality now.
Whichever network first orchestrates a successful roll-out will be able to claim a clear, direct relationship between ad spend and returns that no other platform can match. As of now, it looks like Facebook is the odds-on favorite to change everything you thought you knew about social media marketing.
For more on the intriguing “Save” feature, check out this post from Chad Wittman.