29 July 2010 15:59
Facebook's move into the social commerce market will only take off if users are willing to trust the network with their details, according to one expert.
The social networking site announced this month that it would be launching Facebook credits, a PayPal-style currency that users can spend across the entire site for convenience.
Sellers will pay 30 per cent commission to the site for each transaction.
Writing in Marketing Week, social media expert Michael Nutley said that recent moves by retailers reflected a real shift in attitudes, with more companies willing to bring the checkout to the consumer rather than the other way around.
In particular, he highlighted Disney's decision to sell Toy Story tickets through the site and Max Factor's cosmetics shops.
However, he qualified the shift, warning that the shop may not be for all brands and secondly, questioning whether issues of privacy would prevent the growth of social commerce.
Mr Nutley compared Facebook Credits to a scheme proposed by Microsoft almost ten years ago.
"The question for Facebook is how much times have changed, and whether people now trust Mark Zuckerberg more than they used to trust Bill Gates," he commented.
The site has already faced several privacy issues this year, with many of its users expressing anger at the use of default modes intended to make the site more accessible like its smaller rival Twitter.
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