Is Facebook pushing out yet another redundant feature?

Dionne Teo  |  Singapore
Published 2015-01-05 13:30:24

Facebook has come up with yet another idea that involves an uninspiring, and possibly redundant button.

Facebook released a statement in confirmation of a report made by The Next Web

“We are testing a new feature within Facebook groups to help people better organize posts about items they’d like to sell to other people on Facebook. This is a small test limited to select Facebook groups that have active selling communities today.”

Facebook sell something
Image Credit: techliveinfo.com

Come the future, Facebook users could possibly sell items on the platform just by writing a simple post on a group. A new “sell something” button has appeared next to the “write post” feature in selected groups on the site. Upon clicking, users will be able to describe the item, post a couple of pictures, lock in a price and state pick-up or delivery details.

This comes on top of an existing multitude of 3rd party Facebook ecommerce tools that have already quite beautifully merged the social media giant and e-commerce, like Shopify. So “Sell something” does seem like Facebook’s own attempt at foraging into the ever-growing, overcrowded, e-commerce platform. And it isn’t the first time Facebook is going down this road. Anyone recall the ‘buy’ button or Facebook’s 2008 gift shop (that flopped) and Facebook Credits?

Image Credit: InsideFacebook.com
Image Credit: InsideFacebook.com

According to Mobile Research Specialist, Juniper Research, 195 billion mobile transactions are expected to take place annually by 2019 – a more than two-fold increase from this year’s 72 billion. With Facebook’s mobile app usage spiking, it’s reason enough for Facebook to jump onto the bandwagon.

But it’s a weak jump seeing that it adds absolutely no value to the current Facebook platform since users are already carrying out online transactions fine without the button. The only plus point is a unified structure of the posting, making things more organized visually.

The idea is plausible; it’s just the attempt that’s sorely disappointing. It almost seems like a desperate move made just to have a finger in the e-commerce pie, especially since the platform was recently reported to be experiencing slow growth and loss of teenage users to competitors like Snapchat.

Or maybe it’s a last-ditch attempt save the fizzling Facebook Group mobile app. Who knows?

Perhaps, if this button were combined with its previously leaked user-to-user mobile payments system – the whole idea of selling something on Facebook and/or Facebook Groups might seem a whole lot more appealing.

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