Because you should apparently never, ever have to even consider leaving Facebook to do anything, the online baby photo depository and place where recently divorced singles go to try to reignite high school romances has begun testing a “Buy” button that allows you to purchase crap you could buy elsewhere.
Zuckerbook is testing the button in the U.S. with a “few small and medium-sized businesses,” according to Reuters. Pushing the button apparently lets you purchase an item directly from the seller without leaving Facebook.
The site claims that it won’t share users’ card information with other advertisers (because that would be illegal), and users don’t have to store payment information with Facebook. The credit card transactions are handled by a third-party processor and Facebook says it isn’t currently taking a cut of sales revenue from advertisers.
What Facebook doesn’t say is whether or not it will sell info about what you buy with advertisers. It would be silly for Facebook to not try to cash in on this information, as it’s just as valuable as the web-browsing data it’s currently gathering about the hundreds of millions of people currently skimming past pages of “inspirational” quotes and opinions on local sports teams on the site.
If it works, it could be a good move Facebook, which can charge more for advertising and use shopping/browsing data to advertisers who want to target very specific audiences. It could also be a boon to the advertisers who can immediately sell items straight to the end-user without having to worry about them looking around for a better price.