Facebook today began the second phase of testing a new “Collections” feature that lets pages post about their products and lets users save items they want, a spokesperson tells us.
Collections posts are similar to photo albums but with more features specific to retailers. Collections include large images that users can hover over to learn more about the products featured in them. There are buttons to add items to a wishlist and share the activity with friends. There’s also a link to visit the retailer’s website and buy the item.
The social network is trying to find the ideal language for the feature and is testing different words with different groups of users. Users will be able to “want,” “save,” “add,” “collect” or “wishlist” products depending what cohort they are in.
“The goal of this test is to understand how people are interacting with and sharing items from a Collection in their News Feeds,” a spokesperson says.
For now Collections only appear on desktop, not mobile.
Facebook announced an initial test of Collections in October with seven retailers as partners. That test lasted less than a month. This test also has a set end date, but Facebook did not reveal when that will be.
The company did share that it is working with the following retailers for this test: Nordstrom, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teens, West Elm, Michael Kors, Fab.com, Belk, Etsy, Macy’s, Old Navy, Mark & Graham and Wayfair.com. Users can visit those pages to see how Collections works at this stage.
This year Facebook has begun taking a vertical-by-vertical approach to developing products for marketers. Collections is an example of something specifically developed with retailers and e-commerce sites in mind.
Earlier this week some page owners noticed an option in their page’s admin panel called “manage products.” This was a bug, likely related to Collections, but seems to have been fixed. Facebook did not say whether it has plans to launch Collections more widely any time soon.
Collections could remain a premium post type for some time, similar to Offers, which began in testing last December, became available to more partners in March, rolled out more widely in May, but now requires page owners to buy ads to promote the offer.
The image below shows how saved products appear on a user’s Timeline.