Saturday, October 13, 2012

Facebook Might be Adding an "I Want" button

So it looks like Facebook is moving forward with the idea of adding an "I Want" button.  The first I had heard of this was from an article posted on Forbes (see link below).  The author seemed to be really worried that Facebook's less than successful public trading performance is forcing them to really change their tone in a less than favorable way.

I read the article staying pretty neutral in my thinking and then moved on with my week.  It wasn't until later in the week when I was shopping on and looked up to notice that my wife had been browsing through Pinterest for the last 25 minutes that I realized the author's worry that Facebook is looking for it's users to pull out their wallets is way off.  The reality is we are already all consumers in some way or another and many of us rely on the internet to gain information for current or future purchases.

I have used Amazon for years to find things I knew I wanted as well as things I didn't even know existed.  I have also used their wish list feature for years.  Their wish list sharing feature has been more than helpful for me to find what other similar minded Amazon users were interested in as well.  In the last 6 or so years I have kept my wish list current on Amazon and not one person has ever purchased something off of it come birthday or Christmas time, but just like Pinterest it allowed me to keep a running list of links to items I had researched and would love to procure.  Had these lists and these links been more available on Facebook maybe they would actually have a better impact when it comes Birthday or Christmas time as these lists would be in exactly the right spot ... in front of my family and friends.

Whether or not Facebook actually starts looking to fulfill some of these purchases, like the article said they might be looking to do in the future, I think that the "I Want" button couldn't have a more natural place than on my Facebook page.  I remember Facebook coming out years ago saying they don't see themselves as competing with MySpace, but competing with the likes of Google by giving results that are personalized by your social circle.  Having an "I Want" button actually gives them that ability.  For example, if I was looking for a stereo reciever I would it would be REALLY helpful to me if my friends who are well versed in what's what in the Audio world had given some "I Want" tags on a few recievers for me to review.  Same would go for just about anything including digital cameras, baby strollers, kitchen appliances, etc.

I see massive benefit to this new button on Facebook both for me, and for Facebook and retailers as well.  With a large database of "I Want" demographic information Facebook could have much more targeted ads and drive revenue by giving retailers exactly the potential customer views they are looking for.  Not to mention the potential to try to consolidate ALL of these randome wish lists and gift registries that exist within individual retailer sites, and the potential to maybe tie these wish lists to facebook events.  Over the last 7 years I have been to a ton of weddings and baby showers, and this would have been an awesome feature to have instead of having to search around so much to try to find something my friend or family member said they wanted.  Not to mention what an excellent way to keep your finger on the pulse of what's hot on the market.  Instead of relying on the retailer telling me what's hot for kids this year ... which always felt wrong ... I get to know what actual consumers are looking to buy for their kids! 

In my mind this is Win/Win, and with so much that Facebook has actually done right (measuring their success by their massive popularity) it's hard to believe that Facebook would enter into something like this without keeping what their users will think in mind.  I believe that this will become the main place people will go to find products to purchase for themselves or others.  If you don't like Facebook knowing what you are interested in purchasing don't click the "I Want" button, just don't complain to me when you don't get what you want for your birthday!

Here is the article mentioned above that prompted my thoughts:


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