According to Waddington, although the button is currently disabled and isn’t publicly listed on Facebook’s social plugins, it works on Open Graph products tagged as “products.”
At this point, any developer can create a button for whatever word they desire—they just need a third-party app that would allow it to show in people’s news feeds or timelines. If a “Want” button—similar to the “Like” button—became widespread (or officially endorsed by the company) it would give Facebook and its advertisers a boat-load of new data on purchase-intent.
Which is the one thing Facebook currently lacks.
When users press that they “Like” a post, it doesn’t indicate intent to buy. For all Volkswagen knows, those users already have Jettas in their garages. A “Want” button would allow users to share what they’re lusting over with their Facebook network.
This move would also make Facebook more competitive with Google’s Adwords.
The power of Google’s Adwords is that when someone searches for an item on Google, shopping intent is inferred. (Why search for a VW Jetta if you’re not thinking of buying a car?) As of now, no one goes to Facebook to shop. Creating that new space—and not in an app that brands have to create on their own, but in a button that is already a part of Facebook—would establish valuable data and further integrate Facebook with retailers.
It could be huge.
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