Facebook as a Market Place... exciting stuff
Wow, what a revelation. In an article today Facebook mentioned that its team is working on new online shopping software which could help the company become the next major online merchant and overcome other online stores such as eBay.com. Just in time for Christmas, Facebook wants to serve as an ecommerce store by turning its pages into online shopping outlets and its users into online shoppers. (http://www.staho.com/social-network-facebook-plans-to-become-a-major-online-merchant-by-launching-ecommerce-store/209555/)
This poses an interesting question around how we interact with our social networks, do we tend to buy and sell amongst our friends? How would we control privacy when posting products in an open market? Will private marketplaces exist?
One of my visions has always been to use the connectivity framework established by Facebook for other services, such as commerce, payments, delivery services, etc. Image being able to log onto a Mobile Payments apps (web or mobile) and send the $20 you owe your cousin by selecting him in your Facebook contacts. That way, you never need know which bank he is with, nor the routing codes, or which account he wants it in. Instead Facebook prompts him that he has received $20 and nominates which bank or account he wants to put it into. Kind of like sending money through PayPal, but your already established connections through Facebook. Such a case could also work for International Remittances, where you can send money to your friend in the UK from Australia.
The announcement from Facebook means that the usually non-personal experience of eBay, can be enriched as potential sellers and buyers could be linked to their Facebook profile, adding to the credibility of your seller/buyer profile.
I think this is a very exciting announcement from Facebook, and I look forward to watching its growth in the market.