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It may be October, but if you’ve been in any major retail store in the last week, you know what’s around the corner. The holidays. Although these very special days of the year are meant to celebrate our families & blessings, we all know that gift giving and wish lists will be on our minds. But what you may not know is this year, Facebook may be tapping into that mindset, as well.

On Monday, Oct. 8, Facebook announced the testing of new buttons. These include giving users the ability to “like,” “collect,” and (what this post will focus on) “want” a product. Facebook 'like' button

The lucky brands chosen for the testing phases are Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Newman Marcus, Smith Optics and Similarly, there are only a certain number of Facebook users that are able to see the testing of these buttons.

Here’s the gist: You see a brand page posted something amazing to its feed. You need it, love it, or wish you could have it, so you “want” it. Click the “want” button, give a brief rationale (or none at all), and voilà — the product you “want” shows up in your newsfeed. Business Insider

(For anyone wary of accidently wanting a not-so-awesome product, you can always un-“want” an item later.)

Your favorite products will show up on a “wish list” visible to your extended network (friends of friends) and will be easy to access from your Timeline.

Let’s look at two perspectives:

  1. The consumer. Not sure what to get a friend for the holidays, birthday or just because? No problem. Check out their  Facebook “wish list,” & you’ll get an idea of what they are wishing for.
  2. The brand. The “want” button has the potential to increase traffic to your brand page. Its 1 billion users will be encouraged to “like” your page in order to keep up-to-date with your new products. But what all brand marketers truly care about: This button could also help to more accurately measure what posts convert to sales. The new buttons will increase the likelihood of an impulse purchase through Facebook. In a statement from Huffington Post, Facebook said, “People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.”

According to Today Online, “The like button has been used 1.1 trillion times since it was introduced in 2010.” If these new engagement buttons are as successful as the “like” button, we may see a new era for Facebook. However, the fear is that if the social media platform doesn’t regulate how often updates are added to news feeds, Facebook’s users & a brand’s potential consumers could become easily annoyed. No one wants to feel that they are being spammed.

If adopted, Facebook could end up being a big player in e-commerce by users shopping inside the platform, as well as sending them directly to online stores. As a majority of consumers begin thinking about the season’s wish lists & shopping lists, these new engagement buttons could not have come at a better time.

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