Facebook is getting into online commerce in a big way: last week they unveiled an easy way to send physical goods to friends, and today they’ve announced Collections. Collections, according to Facebook, is a way for companies to format image posts of products to facilitate easy sales through Facebook. Sounds a lot like another image-based social network, right?
In particular, a given product in a Collection will have “want” and “collect” buttons, and will show up in the news feeds of people who like the company. The collect button allows a person to generate a page of cool images of products, similar to Pinterest’s Pin Boards. The companies currently on board include Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com. In many ways, this is a way to direct advertising: you already know somebody’s a fan of say, Pottery Barn, so it’s kind of like dropping a new catalog into somebody’s newsfeed. And you can see what your friends think is awesome, so you can either copy them or avoid being too matchy-matchy.