Report: Facebook ‘Wants’ To Sell A Lot More Stuff

Company reportedly tests 'Want' button to help products marketers drive social commerce

Facebook might be making it easier for brands to utilize “Want” buttons (and may be closer to a killer ad option for retailers), according to an report. The Facebook-dedicated news blog says developer Todd Waddington from Cut Out + Keep has discovered that Want buttons can be implemented on Open Graph items marked as “products.”

When asked about the report via email, a Facebook spokesperson replied, "We're always testing new Platform features, however we have nothing new to announce."

For several months, Facebook developers have been able to create a Want button via the social site’s open software tools. Before using the button, these developer have needed to get authorization from Facebook as third-party apps. If the Menlo Park, CA-based company were to add Want to its list of social plug-ins (such as the ubiquitious Like, Recommend, etc.), those back-end steps would be effectively removed from the process—making the possibility of Want buttons popping up all over the Web more than likely.

That's because Facebook has long been searching for that no-brainer ad unit that would come close to being as powerful and easy-to-buy and easy-to-scale as Google AdWords. Theoretically, brands would flock to Want ads, because as with Google search ads, users will be very deliberately voicing their interest in a particular product.

An early developer to implement the Want button has been Facebook commerce player Payvment. The company started using Want and Own buttons prior to the holidays, telling ClickZ in January that putting the buttons next to products increased sales.

Facebook, some marketers say, has commerce issues. If Want becomes a social plug-in, the site could bolster its platform as a destination where social, wish lists and e-commerce come together.