Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Shops, when online shopping becomes the main solution for most of us. Facebook’s announcement is not hiding that this option comes “as many businesses are creating and strengthening their digital presence.” So, this might transform the platform into an even bigger online advertising hub.
Of course, Facebook will also take advantage of its other platforms to turn this into a huge event. Thus, the company announced investments in features across all its apps. The reason? To inspire “people to shop and make buying and selling online easier.”
Their promise: free mobile shopping experience
According to the company, the free Facebook Shops experience would help any business create an online store easily on Facebook and Instagram. At this moment, we know that the option would be customizable in terms of fonts and colors. Also, it would let owners tell their brand stories and connect with customers through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct.
Mark Zuckerberg announced that huge partners such as WooCommerce, Shopify, Channel Advisor or BigCommerce would offer support for the customers. In addition, he promised new features across the company’s apps: Instagram Shop, live shopping features and loyalty programs.
Facebook shops secure company’s income
At this moment, Facebook shops are “free and very easy to create.” This is because “the vast majority of our advertisers are small businesses. I mean it also makes us the biggest part of our revenue,” Zuckerberg stated.
For instance, about 160 millions of small businesses already use the company’s services right now, across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. And one of the company’s problems seems to be that “the vast majority of these businesses don’t spend any money with us,” Zuckerberg emphasized.
So, behind the “financial support” for small businesses, Facebook is trying to obtain more money from ads.
At this moment, anyone can create free Facebook shops, which the company says that are easy to create. The little businesses that already have a product or catalogue on Facebook or Instagram, the company “would set up the store automatically. Also, for the companies that use Shopify, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor or BigCommerce solutions, “with a small number of clicks you’re going to build your inventory and create a shop across our services.”
Zuckerberg: “Our business model here is ads”
Facebook’s CEO admitted that although a shop setup is free and simple, “our business model here is ads. So, rather than charge businesses for shops, we know that if shops are valuable for businesses, they’re going to, in general, want to bid more for ads and we’ll, eventually, make money that way.”
But immediately after, he came to assure every user that “We’ll also protect your privacy when you’re using this and we’re not going to share what you buy with friends or anyone else on our services without your permission.”
But what he did not say was that privacy protection doesn’t come for free. Because as there would be many online shops on the platform, the number of ads will increase. So, users will pay by seeing ads, in fact.
The Facebook shops are available across all the apps. So, when a business sets up a shop once, the same shop will be available on the Facebook page, Instagram profile and, soon, on Messenger and WhatsApp. Are you, as a user, ready to be followed by ads in each of these platforms?