Who needs a ‘Like’ when you can easily hit buy. Facebook is testing out a new feature (buy button) that would allow you to buy products directly from your newsfeed. Pinterest, take note of this, you are beyond set up for this functionality. Talk about one hell of an affiliate program.

The buy button would allow a user to make a purchase directly in the news feed and not leave Facebook. And you know the system will be nicely incorporated into Facebook ads. That simple change alone will instantly make the ads more appealing to retailers large and small. It tears down the wall of clicks a user would normally have to do to get to a product.

To make this work, Facebook has hired David Marcus, a former PayPal president, to help Facebook jump into the e-commerce landscape.

If the buy button goes network wide, it would be a win-win for both sides. For advertisers, the conversion rate on their advertising or posts in news feeds would skyrocket. For users, it means less clicks and no re-entering of payment details.

Facebook has already come out to address possible security concerns, saying a third-party would be brought onboard to manage the payment processing. During the test, Facebook will not be charging a transaction fee, but once live it has a host of options. It can quickly become the largest affiliate marketer in the world, Facebook ads could see a jump in rates or it could go the transaction fee route.

The easiest option for Facebook would be to increase advertising rates. The company’s site is already heavily used by affiliate marketers, and having a quick conversion path would be appealing to businesses large and small.

Facebook’s tentative entry into the ‘buy now’ space is following on the heels of its competitors. Twitter has already been testing out a buy through tweets function. Amazon jumped onboard with Twitter using hashtags. This is a bit of a catch-up game Facebook is playing, but its 1.2 billion users immediately makes it lead in this endeavor.


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