Ever since Pinterest “went big” there have been countless clones that have tried to not only succeed but to balance that sweet spot between popularity and profitability.
Without a doubt, images are HUGE in not only marketing but in mass appeal.
Leave it to Facebook to find a way to bring “pinnable content” (is that trademarked?) to business and brand pages!
Let’s take a look at Pottery Barn’s latest collection:
Collections look a lot like photo albums (and are commentable in the same way) but hover over the images and a little popup button will appear. (Individual items however can not be commented on.)
According to AllFacebook.com, “Collect”, “Want”, “Like”, and “Buy” are all pins/buttons that are available to the merchants currently testing collections. (Remember those Facebook verbs we everyone was talking about? They’re starting to be a real thing!)
Click on any of the images and you open the image lightbox and things get even more interesting!
Once in the lightbox view, you can not only fully appreciate the image (and pin… err I mean “collect” it) but you can see a nice view of other images in the collection in the lower right.
Now… I want to draw your attention to the UPPER right… because something neat is happening here.
Do you see that “Buy for $” link?
That link is a “bridge” that links out to the item’s sale entry on Pottery Barn! Holy smokes!
While, at this time, (and in limited testing), collections are not costing the advertisers anything. We certainly can see a prime candidate for Facebook to monetize some outbound traffic!
So what happens once you pin (errr.. collect) them?
Once I’ve collected an item, it goes into my collections (which took me forever to find, but which I do control the privacy on. I made mine public.): https://www.facebook.com/kimberly.castleberry.1/app_ogproduct
I would assume that in the future this link would be incredibly easy to find.. but for now, it’s not showcased in any decent manner.
According to TechCrunch: “The “Want” button adds a product to a Timeline section called “Wishlist” visible to friends of friends, the “Collect” button saves to to a Collection called “Products” that’s visible to friends only, and a special version of the “Like” button will also add to “Products” but that’s visible to friends of friends.” (Not all button types appear to be in testing at this time.)
My products tab/sub-page has a very neat display of the item’s I’ve collected. This page here is one of the few that actually concern me though. I’ll get to that in a moment.
I also generated a reasonably nice newsfeed posting. It’s nice and large and vivid… but it posted the first image in that album I collected rather than my recently added image. (This is likely a bug.)
I wonder why there is no like/comment on these items. Could be beta testing quirks or could be intentional.
Do Facebook Collections Stand A Chance?
Pinterest has done a fantastic job teaching everyone to pin stuff and it’s obvious that the Facebook album/lightbox combo can be repurposed splendidly for this task.
So what’s my concern?
It’s simply that Pinterest also taught us to scavenge up cool stuff and re-share our friends cool stuff… something that at this moment we can’t do.
Would Pinterest be as interesting to the masses if they could only pin commercial stuff that was handed to them? I seriously doubt it.
I want to suggest not making rapid judgements on this project just yet. If the “pinning” won’t work commercially “at all” then there is no sense in FB doing the dev work to bring “pinning” to all users. I’d like to think however, that is this beta test (which is what this is) goes well that this project will be expanded into something much more all-encompassing.
I’d personally actually LIKE the idea of being able to snag funny images my friends share in my feed and add them to a “humor” collection that someone could subscribe to….
These would also wind up very similar to interest lists (and a source of things to curate) if they could be subscribed to which would be an interesting proposition.
I think this is a neat move… a neat experiment… and I’m fascinated to see whether Facebook will give it the legs it will need to succeed.
I suppose the real question comes down to this: Will readers accept and use the “want” button?
What about you? How do you feel about these collections… not only as a marketer but as a “regular person” enjoying Facebook?
~ Kim ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing