Facebook knows what you ‘Want’
Facebook might soon supplement its “like” button with a “want” button that could push the site more toward becoming a place for consumption, rather than social connection, and make commerce a mainstay of the site. Though rumors about Facebook’s plans to introduce a broader suite of buttons have circulated for months, eagle-eyed Facebook developer Tom Waddington has spotted the most compelling evidence to date.
A short tag — ” < fb:wants > ” — in Facebook’s code suggests the social networking site is prepping a new plugin to enable users to tell friends they’re lusting after products online. The button is not publicly listed among the other social plugins on Facebook’s developer site. Waddington says the button will only work on Open Graph objects marked as “products.”
Open Graph, developers have been able to create their own “want” actions, but users have to authorize a third-party app in order for those buttons to generate stories on Timeline and News Feed. If the Want button plugin works similarly to the Like button, users will not have to go through the step of authorizing an app. This means even more users will be likely to click it. Facebook already knows what you “like.” It could be near uncovering your desires, too.
With the ‘want’ button Facebook seem to be headed towards the development of a ‘social market’ that could run against sites like dubizzle and souq.com but with the advantage / convenience of being directly integrated with Facebook. However, in my case, I want many things, but not necessary that I would buy them. The application may be a sort of directory where, if you ‘want’ a product you are filled in with details of the product, the locations of purchase, competitors, or simply just create a wishlist of things, as identified by Tom Waddington.
Either way, this little plugin could well start off a battle of brands, let me explain… if I ‘want’ a pair of Puma running shoes, Nike could instantly bombard me with ads for its own sneakers in a bid to win my business. The only thing I hope is that my home page is not filled with posts of all the shoe companies in the whole world in a bid to win my business.
The notion of the want button is interesting, but until it is disclosed we can only speculate. Also there is the question, do Facebook users really want to shop where they socialize? Do we want to know what everyone else is buying? Let us know your thoughts…