What would Facebook’s ‘want’ button mean for you?

Amanda Greenwood shares her thoughts on the rumours…

Every now and again I will post or share an image on a social media platform with simply the word ‘WANT’ next to it. The image is normally always of a pair of shoes, an item of clothing or a drink, depending on the type of day I have had. It is also fairly frequent that I will like a post from a company to indicate that I would like to purchase it, although half the time I cannot afford it.

Another way I continuously express my ‘want’ through social media is on the Facebook app ‘Where I’ve Been?’, which is a map that indicates where you have lived, visited and want to visit in red, blue and green respectively. Sadly only 7% of the map is blue, but a whole lot more of it is green.   

I know for a fact I am not the only person that does this, just take a look at Pinterest. That whole site is based around what people like and many, including me, have a ‘wishlist’ board where we post the products we’d like to buy. But with Facebook reaching a larger, and growing, audience and used more often, what would happen if it launched a ‘want’ button?

 Well according to a web developer that spoke to Mashable, the coding for such button  has already been laid out amongst Facebook’s Javascript. It would work similarly to a  like but instead of the thumbs up it is thought to resemble a shopping bag. While  Facebook told Mashable it has no new announcements at the moment, the finding has  sparked stories of the site’s next step into ‘social commerce’, as it means companies  can gain more integration into the site.

 While the app will be easy for companies to install, it could also benefit in other ways.  As I said earlier, a ‘want’ will suggest more of a desire to purchase and provide an  insight into what is working in your posts. Furthermore, it will raise company  awareness and boost exposure through posting a message to friends’ newsfeeds, in a similar way that Facebook now displays users’ likes and shares.

What this development does of course mean is that the site is a step closer to adding ‘buy’ buttons in the future. Purchases are already available through the website with particular companies, but the addition of an app will make it all the more easier for businesses and users. Companies are consistently asking the use of Facebook and its ROI, perhaps the answer is coming closer than you may think. 

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