The monetization of social media is now fully upon us. While networks like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram continue to be free of course, they also need to figure out how else they will be able to earn money for their stakeholders without charging their users, and apart from advertising. They have now turned to offering brands the chance to sell their products on their network. And now the latest to join the fray officially is Facebook as they are now including a shopping section in the mobile app version.
If you’re in one of the regions that are testing out the new feature, when you click on the more menu, you’ll see now a new Shopping button. Once you click on that, you’ll see which brands are available to make your wallet, or rather your credit card, cry. Of course what you’ll see are based on your user profile and interests as well as the stuff you post on your timeline. You will see a timeline with all these brands and the products they offer, as well as a search bar in case your timeline gets too crowded and you need to find a specific product.
If you click on a product, you’ll see more details about it, as well as other products being sold by the brand. However, only a limited number of brands are allowed to put their stuff up for sale on Facebook’s shopping feature. And if you’re interested to have your brand eventually there, you need to have signed up on the Product Pages.
No word yet on when this will roll out to other users or where the limited testing will actually show up. Let’s see how this Shopping feature will stack up against Twitter’s Buy button or YouTube’s shopping ads.