Facebook has launched a new “buy” button that lets users purchase items straight from Facebook ads and pages without ever leaving the social network. It’s testing the product with a few small businesses in the United States.
The move could hurt venture-backed startups like Soldsie which have spent the past few years making e-commerce work around.
A buy button is just one of a few e-commerce initiatives Facebook is working on. A few months ago it hired PayPal President David Marcus to lead its messaging department and find advertising-alternative ways to monetise. Facebook also previously acquired Karma for $US80 million to launch Gifts, a way to purchase items for friends securely on the social network.
Here’s Facebook’s post announcing the test buy button:
Today we’re beginning to test a new feature to help businesses drive sales through Facebook in News Feed and on Pages.
With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook.
We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure. None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.
The current test is limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US. We’ll share more information as we gather feedback.