Social Commerce

Your Apps. Now with Friends. Facebook’s New Social Commerce Play

So Facebook went public yesterday with the new Open Graph that allows people to throw their friends into the sales funnel of brands they like through shared app activity.

Think of it as the old Facebook Connect, but for apps – allowing people to discover stuff friends are doing through activity shared via socially connected apps.

Apple brought you Apps with Everything, Facebook wants to make all those apps social. Social TV? Check.  Social Movies? Check. Social Gaming? Check. Social News? Check.

So it’s about Life beyond the Like – the new Open Graph supports not just Liking, but Watching, Playing , Reading, Listening, Buying, Wanting, Doing and more – anything you can do with apps.  And apps will battle it out for top spot in the new Twitter-clone ‘Ticker’ on Facebook pages with the new GraphRank app algorithm. According to Facebook, the future is Social Apps.

On the life beyond the like front, social commerce solution provider vendor 8thBridge has been quick off the mark with a new Facebook want button.  Brands will love this.

Whilst we not so sure about the aesthetics of the new scrapbook format of new Facebook profile page (MySpace-esque – aka Timeline – Alex Droner’s cult ‘A Life on Facebook‘ just became reality), Timeline will be an amazing opportunity for advertisers and agencies to mine consumer data.  Expect a burgeoning new industry in consumer segmentation.

But the really disruptive innovation is the new Open Graph, which could have profound implications for social commerce.  So if you’re listening to music on Spotify, your friends will now be able to see what you’re listening to in the newsfeed ticker, and if they click the status update, they get to listen to it too – and then buy.  Social Discovery.  All within Facebook. Same goes for movies, TV and news.

So, three big implications here for social commerce;

  1. Facebook is to a become a media hub – and has teamed up with big digital distribution players from the worlds of movies, TV, music, gaming and news media.  Social TV is here. See the Guardian’s new Facebook app for the shape of things to come. There will be big opportunities in social commerce built around people sharing content rather than opinions.  And Facebook premium streaming will become a compelling social commerce proposition
  2. Using the new richer Open Graph puts Facebook at the centre of social commerce gravity, allowing vendors to better to anticipate needs and personalise offers.  Big opportunities for smart segmentation/targeting models.  Agencies… Ready, Set, Go!
  3. Social commerce just took a ‘Social Discovery’ turn.  It’s about friends putting friends into the sales funnel by helping them discover new stuff.

Expect to see the terms ‘Social Discovery’ and ‘Social Apps’, and the concept of Facebook as a media/entertainment hub to figure very prominently in the world of social commerce in the coming months.

Lots. Of. Opportunity.

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Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

5 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Great article!

    I got really excited about the ticker feature, as it puts an unfiltered feed on the canvas, thus bringing back relevance to less popular stories (read: APPS). But on the in-app context, the ticker is replaced by a contextual feed that only displays user presence in the applications. What a bummer. It would really improve the “togetherness” of the social shopping experience if they just left the regular ticker there and users could see what others where seeing on the spot.

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