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Facebook Looks to Become a One-stop Shop with New E-commerce and Branding Features

4 MINUTE READ | October 20, 2015

Facebook Looks to Become a One-stop Shop with New E-commerce and Branding Features

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Devon Eubanks

Devon Eubanks has written this article. More details coming soon.

With the holidays fast approaching, Facebook is gearing up for the giving season by bulking up its ad offerings. With everything from new video capabilities to e-commerce features, Facebook is attempting to define itself as a full funnel marketing channel.

What’s new on the e-commerce front?

  • Canvas – This is a new feature in testing that is similar to Facebook’s “instant articles,” which allows users to open articles directly within Facebook instead of having to rely on slow, mobile external websites to load. With Canvas, when a user clicks on an ad, they will be taken to a fast-loading, full-screen experience that lives within the  Facebook app. Once on this page, “they can browse through a variety of products, before going to the retailer’s website to purchase,” Facebook explains in their blog.

  • Shopping Sections – Instead of just thinking of Facebook as your hub for uploading pictures and videos, brands will now start using their Facebook page as a way to showcase their products. With the new “shopping section” currently in testing brands can create an in-app shopping experience that links back to their own retail site.

shopping buy button

Photo credit: Facebook 

  • Buy Buttons – As with all social networks, Facebook is also in the process of testing a “buy” button within ads, which would allow a user to purchase products from an advertiser without ever leaving Facebook. This feature would also add to experiences like Canvas and the new shopping sections on Facebook by streamlining the purchase process to happen directly within each experience.

fb shopping image

Photo credit: Facebook 

  • Product Discovery – In addition to the shopping section within each Brand’s own Facebook page, Facebook will also be adding a dedicated feed to product discovery. This will appear under the “more” section of the app, and will serve as a centralized location for discovering, sharing and purchasing products.

What’s new on the branding side of the house?

While e-commerce is a major focus, Facebook is not letting go of its bread and butter – branding. With numerous new features, Facebook is not only improving the user experience but it’s also introducing new video features and giving YouTube a run for its money.

videos-section FB

Photo credit: Facebook 

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  • 360 Video – At the end of September, Facebook introduced a more immersive video experience with 360 video. Brands and users can now use special video equipment to shoot 360 degrees of a scene and upload it to Facebook, allowing the end viewer to experience it with the swipe of their finer or cursor.

  • Suggested Video – In an effort to better the user’s video experience, Facebook is making it easier to discover, watch and share videos by adding a suggested video feature within its iOS app. They’ll also be looking at how to monetize this feature by tying ads into the feature.

  • Multi-task While Watching Video – Have you ever watched a video on Facebook and wished you could continue to scroll through your feed and still finish the video? Do not fret – Facebook has a fix for that. They are currently testing a floating screen, which will let you simultaneously multitask on Facebook.

  • Dedicated Video Channel – To date, users have only been able to watch and discover videos within their news feed or on a brand or user’s page. Facebook is now looking into a dedicated, YouTube-like place where users can go if they just want to watch videos. These videos could be shared by their friends or ones that they’ve saved for later. This new channel will have its own icon on the main FB app menu at the bottom of each user’s screen.

  • Reactions – About a week and a half ago, Facebook announced that it was testing new emoji reactions on posts next to the current “like” button. The reaction emojis included are “love,” “haha,” “yay,” “wow,” “sad” and “angry.” The new reactions will provide consumers with an option to be more expressive, while also giving brands broader feedback to see what posts resonate best with their audience.

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