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  • Facebook announced a new addition, Facebook Shops.
  • How Shops will provide new opportunities to online brands.

Today, Facebook announced a new addition to their ecosystem: Facebook Shops. 

In short, Facebook Shops provides a new way for users to discover and buy products on Facebook and Instagram, including the ability to add items to your cart and complete your purchase without leaving the Facebook or Instagram site/app. 

Although Facebook has dabbled in e-commerce in the past, this ability to complete a purchase without leaving the app will undoubtedly be a game-changer for businesses, as well as the platforms themselves. 

Facebook mentioned in their announcement that businesses will have a lot of control over their shops. They will be able to feature any products they’d like, customize the look and feel of their shop with unique cover images and colors relevant to their brand

Additionally, users will be able to message individual businesses through WhatApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct with questions regarding orders, tracking, issues, etc. Facebook also says that at some point in the future, users will have the ability to make purchases within the WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct platforms themselves. 

And rest assured, these functions will be available to smaller businesses as well as larger ones.

Although we do not know exactly how much use of the platform will cost, Techcrunch reports that Dan Levy, Facebook’s vice president of ads, said that the company will charge “small fees” on each purchase. 

This functionality will begin rolling out to certain users today, but it will not be available to all users for months to come. 

Lastly, Facebook has announced additions to Instagram and live shopping experiences, some of which will become available as soon as this coming summer. 

Some of the new features announced include a new shop tab in the Instagram navigation bar to navigate Instagram Shop, Live shopping features that will allow users to purchase products straight from videos they’re watching, and the integration of business loyalty programs to their Facebook shops. 

Although details are continuing to emerge and certain functionalities are still unclear, these new features will surely provide new online opportunities for brands to connect with their Facebook/Instagram fans in a more efficient way than ever before. 

Read Facebook’s full statement here.