Will Facebook Become the Leader in Social Commerce?

Two years ago, Steve Rubel was speculating that social commerce would be a hot topic in 2006. I don’t think he could have forseen the launch of the Facebook platform. Facebook has changed the way that we interact with each other and keep track of our ongoing relationships. Then a few days ago Facebook began looking for beta testers for their new payment system.

Next year, look for Facebook to become the dominant player in social shopping. So what is social shopping? There are many definitions but my own definition is “the integration of recommendations from trusted sources when making a purchase decision online.” While Amazon has already integrated comments on products, the largest problem is that I don’t know who made each review. As a result, those reviews are not as valuable for me.

On Facebook, we will know what types of products our friends are purchasing (via Beacon and platform applications) and will be able to use their purchases and reviews as a guide when making our own purchases. With the advent of Facebook payment system, look for advanced e-commerce applications to rise in popularity. Just as I have made many book purchase decisions via blogs, I will now make many more of those decisions based on my friends in Facebook.

While some believe that Facebook is only big in 2007, I believe that Facebook is going to further extend their dominance next year beginning with the launch of their Facebook payment system. While the paradigm shift may not be apparent overnight, by the end of next year we will have witnessed a revolution in online shopping.