Facebook is testing a new button but one must wonder if it’s been fully thought out.
Unveiled Thursday, Facebook has launched a small test of the “buy” button allowing users to purchase products they like from businesses they follow. The button was explained on Facebook’s “For business” page as a way to “help businesses drive sales through Facebook in News Feed and on Pages.”
“With this feature, people on desktop or mobile can click the “Buy” call-to-action button on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook,” the site said.
That’s a smart move and beneficial to businesses — if it takes off — but it must leave some businesses scratching their heads after developments earlier this year when it comes to how Facebook has been dealing with businesses.
Back in March, as we reported, businesses found their ability to reach potential customers through Facebook was being scaled back. At that time it was reported a study completed by Ogilvy and Mather found companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12 percent of followers in fall 2012 to only six percent by February this year.
Facebook, at the time, said it was hoping to reduce the number of posts users were seeing in their news feed from companies they had “liked” to one to two percent.
“Like many mediums, if businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to Time earlier this year.
Mixed messages considering the launch of the “buy” button. If companies aren’t reaching customers it may prove difficult to get a full feel for how the “buy” button may be effective.
The new feature — currently limited in its testing to “small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S.” — has been created, though, with an eye on ensuring a user’s financial information remains secure.
“We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure,” Facebook said on its page. “None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.”