Facebook Is Preying On Your Online Shopping Habits

Facebook Shopping - H 2015
Courtesy of Facebook

No social media platform is safe from the lure of online shopping.

Social media, once the premiere destination for humble brags and vacation pics, is slowly but surely evolving into a digital mall. 

First Pinterest, then Twitter and Instagram, and now Facebook are all preying on our online shopping habits with click-through purchase capabilities that make it all too easy to drop $200 on those shoes that have been sitting in your virtual shopping cart for weeks. 

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Facebook will test a new "shopping" section (located under the "More" tab) among a small fraction of users, WWD reports. Based on brands a user has "liked," the shopping bookmark will show an aggregation of products that a user can browse through — all without leaving the site. Retailers using the shopping feature will have the option of allowing customers to purchase directly within Facebook or to transfer customers to their individual site. 

An additional feature that has been live since September is Canvas advertising, which allows users to click an ad and view product information like sizing or color options in a new window which is still contained within Facebook, meaning you'll never lose your place while scrolling aimlessly through your feed if you decide to check out a product. Michael Kors, Mr Porter and Target are just a few of the brands that have tested the feature.

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Canvas ads also load much faster than retailers' sites, which keeps a customer engaged. However, should a user choose to bite the bullet and make a purchase, they still have the option of clicking through to the brand's site. 

The development of the growing shopping options is a response to the growing number of users who are accessing the social site through a mobile device. According to the trade, mobile commerce is expected to grow at a double digit annual rate in the next five years, and the ease of shopping on Facebook allows brands to capitalize on this trend without having to spend time and money developing their own apps.

So guard your wallets, people. The future looks expensive.