Is Facebook An Ecommerce Facilitator Or Competitor?

By Justin Lafferty 

While many companies may have felt that Facebook became a competitor with its launch of ecommerce ventures such as Collections and Gifts, others see this as a great start for a flourishing future for Facebook commerce. Rob Wight, CEO of myList, feels that Facebook developing this technology can help companies by providing an established platform.

MyList, like Collections, has a Pinterest-like feel. It allows users to search for tangible things they like, such as shoes, clothing, knick-knacks, and collectibles. By clicking on these items, users can see how much they cost and figure out where to buy them, or simply save them into a visual list. People can also collect and save inspirational sayings and other nonmaterial goods.

MyList has already become quite popular on Facebook, as it boasts roughly 17 million offers from brands and retailers.

So when Facebook started testing Collections, which facilitates ecommerce and collecting via brands posting images, Wight should’ve taken this as a sign that the social network is now a competitor, right? Wrong.

Wight spoke with AllFacebook, saying that the social network’s recent developments are actually exciting for the future of social commerce. By having this native technology, he feels that it gives companies such as myList and brands something upon which they can build:

Those are the kinds of foundational classes that allow great independent ad builders like us the basic building blocks we need to bring that commerce and capability into Facebook. What it does is it expresses that this is a product, it expresses that this has a price. A lot of the users will indicate a verb against that, either to say that verb is, “I want it,” or that verb is in a wishlist, or that verb is “something I like.” It’s those foundational building blocks that we need to then take those things, combine them, bring them into myList, let users interact and collect them, bring them into our page application, let the pages collect and create those collections inside their pages inside our app, inside of Facebook … Presuming for a moment that they do this, then this would be something that would really enable the core elements of what we’re building, almost to the point where we were counting on this to happen.

When Facebook came out with Gifts, some people within the social gifting community felt that Facebook was becoming a competitor, and that this would hurt apps. Wight is confident that apps can use this technology to enhance their own offerings, helping the social commerce environment grow.

Readers: Do you think that Facebook can coexist with and help companies such as myList, or are they competitors?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.