Facebook Dives Deeper Into e-Commerce With Pinterest-like ‘Collections’

Like eBay and Zappos, Facebook has also announced this week a photo-driven e-commerce feature that riffs off Pinterest. Select retailers can post Collections of photos with links that drive users offsite to purchase the products pictured.

Pinterest has evidently got the attention of developers at eBay and Facebook: Both launched photo-driven e-commerce designs this week. (Zappos did too.)

Facebook began testing on Monday a feature that looks similar to a Pinterest board. Available only to select retailers including Fab.com, Pottery Barn, Wayfair.com and Neiman Marcus, Facebook ‘Collections’ are sets of photos that feature products for sale.

Facebook is testing buttons allowing different user groups to “like”, “collect” or “want” the products in Collections. Most importantly, as the company struggles to boost revenue streams to recover from its failed IPO, all users will see a “buy” link on products pictured within Collections. The link sends users to the retailer’s site where they can purchase the product.

It’s not clear whether Facebook will take a cut from products sold this way, or if the traffic will simply allow it to charge more for advertising by proving that what consumers see on Facebook helps drive sales.

A Facebook spokesperson clarified that Collections does not work offsite as a social plugin, suggesting that it may eventually do just that.