Facebook seems to be playing a bit of catchup with MyList, a startup a startup with a Facebook app for assembling Pinterest-like collections of interesting items, with its new “Want” buttons and “Collections” feature.
But myList may have just been made obsolete by the very platform it’s been betting on.
MyList’s plight highlights a key challenge for Facebook. The social network is striving to find new areas for revenue growth. But it also wants to maintain its position as the default way any innovative new app becomes social.
MyList enables Facebook users to discover, share, and save things like coffee mugs, shoes, workout ideas, and recipes. For brands, MyList offers an embeddable app for their official Facebook pages so they can “express their brands through things they sell or recommend, and everything that represents their brand story,” MyList CEO Rob Wight says.
But despite the similarities between Collections and MyList, Wight doesn’t see Facebook Collections as a true competitor to MyList.
“MyList is far more than a product application, it is the expression of all elements of a brand in Facebook,” Wight says. “Collections, rather than being competitive to MyList, is building the foundation we need, by effectively describing and creating products in the Facebook system.”
In other words, Wight believes MyList can adapt its app to use the Collections feature. But Facebook has shown a willingness to move swiftly to drop features partners previously depended on. For example, it recently limited the number of “actions” that partners can publish to Facebook users’ news feeds, after encouraging a lot of experimentation.
Wight, a former Microsoft executive on the Windows team, says he’s not worried because he sees Facebook as becoming the major new computing platform.
He notes that as Facebook continues to expand, MyList is easily able to take advantage of those new functions, such as the “Want” button.
“If the (Facebook) platform decided to do everything we’re doing, could they take me out?” Wight says. “The answer is, of course. But my job is to bring value on top of whatever it is that is there.”