Facebook is further increasing monetization for its users with a new suite of features to allow shopping from Facebook Groups.
Groups will be able to sell products themselves, and can highlight others that are for sale in otherwise unrelated Facebook Shops.
What's the takeaway? Well, either shoppers are increasingly opting for social commerce, or platforms are increasingly interested in forcing them to think they're opting for social commerce.
New Features to Expect
Here's a quick rundown of the four new features:
- Shops in Groups — lets users buy mech and products directly from a Group they're in
- Product Recommendations in Groups — shows member-recommended products to other members of a Group, for purchase from Facebook Shops
- Top Product Mentions — this one sounds like the group recommendations, but in News Feeds
- Live Shopping — lets creators highlight favorite products (this one's still in testing).
Once the “Shops in Groups” functionality is live for a group, users will be able to see a “shop” button at the top, along with a featured section highlighting a handful of products.
The fact that group product recommendations will be connected to other Facebook shops means these new features are adding further connective tissue between the sections of Facebook that people are actually interested in using.
Can Community Shopping Save Facebook?
Ask anyone under the age of 30 about Facebook, and you'll likely hear that it's considered over the hill, packed with Boomer memes, and largely exists to radicalize your grandmother.
Still, Facebook Groups are arguably pretty great: They let a small group of enthusiasts connect and help each other learn more about obscure topics. I'm in one group that just identifies types of mushrooms in my local area, for instance, and in another group that just posts the artwork of one artist who hasn't been a big name since the 1970s.
Assuming these new features don't trigger a rush-to-the-bottom money grab, Groups now have a way to benefit from the healthy communities they operate.
How Small Businesses Can Benefit
Granted, better shopping options won't singlehandedly save a company whose own internal documents show it struggled to retain younger audiences despite leaving investors in the dark about that fact.
But this is a sign that an engaged audience still has plenty of value to offer businesses: To get the most benefit from Facebook and other top social networks, any small business with products to sell should try out a social media management tool to keep their online presence strong.
We've rounded up the biggest and best social platform management tools over here, so you're sure to find one that works for you.