Facebook Testing New “Want” Button So Your Friends Will Know What You’re Coveting

Always one to figure out how to take what we like doing and turn it into revenue, Facebook has teamed up with retailers to test a new feature, the “want” button. It’s kind of like the “like” button, but instead compiles a wish list of all the products you’re lusting after on the Internet and lets your pals (and ostensibly, the retailers selling the item) know.

The convenient part for shoppers and the attractive part for retailers? Once you’ve amassed your virtual treasure trove, the idea is you’d be able to click through and actually buy the products on that list, notes Reuters.

There are seven companies so far on the roll call of retailers — Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Neiman Marcus, Michael Kors, Smith Optics, Wayfair and Fab.com — and they’re working with the social network to test how users would flag images of stuff with the new button.

“People will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook,” Facebook said in a statement.

It won’t be called like, “The Material Possessions I’m Currently Drooling Over” feature, but instead Collections. Facebook also hopes that people will buy products as gifts for friends and send shoppers directly to online shopping sites.

While a spokeswoman says Facebook won’t get paid every time you purchase something from your wishlist, what have we learned about the Internet since Al Gore invented it? Nothing is free. Users would be handing out information on how to best advertise to them, which would be a good way to ease Facbeook into e-commerce. After all, advertisers who have shoppers buying stuff on Facebook might be more willing to pour ad dollars into the site, right? It’s all about monetization.

The Collections feature will gradually roll out to all U.S. users, says Facebook. Some of us will see the “want” button while it’s just in a test, and others will see one inviting them to “collect” something or simply “like” it. But that new “liked” item will then be featured — and likely quite prominently — in your timeline.

Facebook partners with retailers to test “want” button [Reuters]