Roman’s Rants: Facebook Commerce
2nd February 11 Comments
Now that Facebook has captured even mainstream media with their recent Form S-1 Registration Statement preceding their IPO, I wanted to take the chance and produce a charming little piece on what I think is one of the most-frequently quoted but at the same time one of the dumbest concepts connected to this social network: I’m talking about F-Commerce, Facebook Commerce of however you want to call it. What a piece of shit!
Okay, let me provide you with a quick look into the wet dreams of all those speakers/consultants/authors who manage to praise F-Commerce in each and every publication they bother the world with: merchants should dump all their product data into applications that allow making purchases right out of Facebook, without ever having to leave this haven of digital social connectedness. No, we don’t need onlineshops that are potentially unsafe: Leave it all in Facebook’s hands and the online retail experience will be nothing short of supreme! I can even faintly remember somebody writing about Facebook becoming the new Amazon, becoming the next-big super-retailer. BS I say!
People are on Facebook to meet other people, to exchange funny bits and pieces, to share photos, to stay in touch – and to play! The latter is actually FB’s biggest revenue driver, with the platform keeping a 30% share of every transaction that is made via the Facebook Credits system. People are not going there to buy stuff! They aren’t even in a searchy, spendy mood (at least when it comes to physical goods), they just want to have a jolly good time, for the love of God!
But even if the commerce bit happens outside of Facebook, social media pundits make us believe we should plaster it with Facebook like and fucking share buttons. As if modern digital mankind circulated around purchasing stuff and boasting about it! Put a Facebook like button on the product detail page of a trailer coupling. Who in the name of all that’s pure and good would want something like this appear in his fucking timeline? And only really weird people would post each and everything they order into all the available channels. If you’re one of them, get a fucking live!
Not to be mistaken: I’m not at all dismissing the idea of purchasing decisions being a joint effort, supported by a social network – quite the contrary! I’m convinced that advanced product discovery based on the opinion of people that are close to you will be at the core of innovation in commerce. But this needs clever strategies and structures – and no braindead Facebook idolism.