Facebook introduces Pinterest-like 'Collections' for brand pages

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Facebook unveiled a new feature on Monday for businesses’ brand pages called “Collections” that introduces two new buttons similar to the familiar “Like” button: “Want” and “Collect.” The “Want” button allows users to make Pinterest-style collections of their favorite images while the “Want” button lets users add products to a wishlist.

Here’s how it works: Companies using Facebook Collections can post collections of images. For example, Victoria’s Secret currently has a Collection called “Fave Fall Dresses,” which features several dresses that are suitable for fall weather. (The other companies using the feature are Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com.)

Each photo in a collection features a “Collect” or “Want” button, as well as the traditional “Like” option. Users can click “Collect” to add the image to their Timeline (in an app called Products), or they can click “Want” to add the image/product to their Wishlist (in the same Products app). Both “collected” and “wanted” items appear on a users’ Timeline, just in different areas.

Images in collections also feature direct links to the products pictured, so users are able to click through and purchase them immediately.

Facebook described the feature in a statement:

“We've seen that businesses often use Pages to share information about their products through photo albums. Today, we are beginning a small test in which a few select businesses will be able to share information about their products through a feature called Collections. Collections can be discovered in News Feed, and people will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.”

The company confirmed to AllFacebook that this feature is not a social plugin, and is only available on Facebook’s website.

What it means for businesses (and you)

Assuming Facebook Collections takes off, it will be kind of cool from a business standpoint. At the moment, brands are limited to creating basic photo albums with photos of products, and posting URLs to link users directly to the product pages. Facebook Collections streamlines the process, letting brands directly associate products from within Facebook.

The “Collect” button doesn’t seem terribly useful, unless Facebook is planning to create a Pinterest-style pinboard feature that lets users display their collected images in a pretty format. Since collected items currently show up in the Products app, and not in a particularly attractive format, the “Collect” button just seems like another word for “Like.” However, at the time of this posting none of the photos in the Collections posted to brand pages had a “Collect” option -- just a “Want” button and a “Like” option -- so maybe that experiment is over.

The “Want” button is useful for businesses, however, because it will let brands know whether people actually love a product (as opposed to just liking a picture, for example), and if they plan on purchasing it.

The direct link for purchasing a product from Facebook will be mostly useful for Facebook itself. Facebook doesn’t currently take a cut of sales made through these links, but it’s only a matter of time.

This story, "Facebook introduces Pinterest-like 'Collections' for brand pages" was originally published by TechHive.

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