Is Facebook trying to steal some of Pinterest's thunder with a new feature it recently began rolling out?
If these new "Collect" and "Want" buttons on Pottery Barn's Fan Page function how I think they're supposed to function, then they very well could be.
Here are some questions I'm asking myself regarding all this:
Will service providers (aka: you and I / aka: interior designers) be able to sell from their Fan Pages? If so, sign me up! (I think.)
On Pinterest, when you click a Pin that takes you offsite to a 3rd party online store where you then make a purchase, Pinterest earns a commission for sending over the sale (this process is called "affiliate marketing") . Will Facebook use this same approach to monetizing these new features? If so, what commission rate will they receive? If it's a bit lofty, I don't know if I want to share a slice of my profit margins with them. Besides, aren't they already worth over one billion bucks? With those kind of riches, do they really need to skim off the top of what you and I are working our butts off to earn?
(Side note: Some analysts believe Facebook will, one day, be worth ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. Pls excuse me for a second while I faint...)
(And I'm back!...)
Will these new features disrupt Facebook entrepreneurs -- many of whom are designers -- who bootstrap their own Facebook auction businesses? And if these small-time businesses are forced to stop having Fan Page auctions, will these independent artists be able to participate in Facebook's new e-commerce system? Or will merchants have to meet a laundry list of qualifications before they can participate?
And the question that scares my geeky side the most: Will Pinterest fans make Facebook their new platform of choice for expressing their interests online? I, for one, will just die if things work out that way.