Facebook announced Thursday it’s testing a new feature for small and medium-sized businesses across the country. The feature, for now called the ‘Buy’ button, will allow users to purchase products directly from their News Feed, permitting impulsive online shoppers to buy instantly from businesses’ Facebook pages, without being redirected to the merchant’s website or app.
The feature is currently being beta-ed amongst a very, very small group; a Facebook spokesman claimed less than five companies are currently testing the feature. Businesses can embed the Buy button on their Page post or in Facebook ads, the button will be available on both mobile and desktop versions of Facebook.
According to Facebook, almost 19 million small business owners manage Facebook Business Pages but many don’t have the ecommerce platform to sell their products. Facebook sees the Buy feature was a solution to this problem. The service is currently free for those testing the program, and Facebook claims they have no plans to monetize the feature moving forward.
Consumers will be prompted to make a transaction upon clicking the ‘Buy’ button – all without leaving the page. In light of recent breaches affecting companies large and small, the biggest concern for consumers will be security. Facebook is reassuring users that it is working on protecting its payment system from security gaps. The company says that a third party will be in charge of handling processing, so information isn’t shared directly with Facebook or the merchant (so they say).
No word on when the Buy button will make its Facebook-wide debut, but if all goes as planned, this feature should help small business owners up their ecommerce game, while simultaneously creating a new revenue stream for Facebook.