Facebook testing ‘buy’ button to purchase goods directly from site

A new ‘buy’ option will sit next to the ‘install’ button on adverts on both desktop and mobile apps

Facebook is testing a “buy” button placed on adverts for products which would allow users to purchase products directly from the ads without leaving the social network. The button will be visible from adverts on the desktop and mobile app versions of Facebook, as well as product page posts from brands, and connect the user directly with the retailer.

“We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure,” Facebook said in a blog post. “None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.”

The test is limited to a few small- and medium-sized businesses in the US, and is expected to help both merchants and users. When a user clicks on an ad within Facebook for a product they would like to purchase it currently sends them to an external site.

Facebook launched a store for goods in 2012, but pulled the plug on the venture in 2013 after lacklustre engagement from users with gift cards the most popular users. Twitter implemented a “buy” button this year, allowing users to buy products directly from ads, while Amazon added the ability to put items to a shopping cart directly through tweets in May.

It is unknown whether the Facebook “buy” button test will be rolled out to UK users in the near future.


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