What do Pottery Barn, Wayfair, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus, Smith Optics, and Fab.com all have in common?
These seven brands are all currently testing Facebook‘s new “Want” button. This Pinterestesque button, similar to the more commonly known “Like” button, is aimed at companies and retailers in an effort to help gauge consumer interest on the widely popular social media site, China excluded.
Since going public, Facebook has become increasingly active in experimenting with various revenue building opportunities. Though it is still in the ‘testing’ phase, Facebook is hopeful that this is the game-changer they’ve desperately been seeking. However, it is just as likely that it is yet another failed cash grab in a long string of failed cash grabs.
Just another failed cash grab?
Facebook has previously attempted other money-making ideas such as Facebook credits, virtual currency, or Group-on like Facebook deals. Then they tried Facebook Gifts where users could buy real world gifts for friends, in an Amazon-like manner, and then have the ability to ‘share’ the gift-giving on wall, thus showcasing their generosity to the entire Facebook community. Regardless of who gets a cut of what, this ‘share your gift’ idea truly means altruism is dead.
Just recently, Facebook rolled out the promote your post idea where advertisers, ahem, users, can promote their posts for the low low price of $7. Intriguing, sure, but doesn’t this idea seem a bit tired and familiar; isn’t that right, Tumblr? On a side note, I would love to see the market research on why the cost is $7 since, at least to me, the pricing seems high.
Advertising on the site is already lucrative for Facebook since advertisers pay to have ads run, which Zuckerberg and company are happy to individualize, hence why you and I get particular ads on our pages.
Though Facebook doesn’t sell our information to advertisers, they do use the significant amount of data they have on each us, enabling them to make ad choices frighteningly specific. It is no wonder wedding albums ads show up when women get engaged or men get P90X ads when they post Tough Mudder albums. I do wonder why I have a recurring Maker’s Mark ad on my page, but that mystery is best left unsolved…
‘Want’ Facebook Advertising?
So that brings us back to the new, semi-creative attempt by Facebook to appease its investors. The idea of clicking ‘Want‘ instead of simply clicking the generally ambiguous ‘Like‘ is so simple and familiar that it just might work. Facebook users, myself included, are used to clicking ‘Like‘ on various posts, photos, Spotify playlists, games, etc. so the simplistic act is seemingly a genius, microscopic change that could have a monumental impact on advertising.
Think about it, Facebook is a consumer researcher’s dream as it is, but by informally asking users to add “hey, I want this” with a little click here or there is as big as Lebron James teaming up with Dwayne Wade in Miami or Marc Jacobs teaming up with Louis Vuitton – the game itself would be changed. This amped up data would put all of us consumers at the mercy of clever advertisers everywhere!
So simple & familiar that it just might work!
It has even been mentioned that adding other buttons like ‘collect’ could work to add if it tests well. All this testing, if done slowly and steadily, will become normal functions for the millions of Facebook users and before anyone sees it coming, ads that matter to you will be in your face all the time, and it will be all your fault!
The more we add ourselves to sites like Facebook with our likes, dislikes, wants, needs, preferences, and personal information, the more we expose ourselves to a bombardment of tailored-to-your-desire advertising.
Whether you want to believe it or not, advertisers are smarter than you and they will exploit you. Don’t believe me, click below to see what you, me, and everyone liked just last month.
Notice the different trends? These ads are seasonal (Starbucks with Pumpkin Spice Latte), focused on national pride (Walmart and Target with 911 ads), inspirational (WWE with Jerry Lawler or Xfinity with Robin Roberts), and it just keeps going.
We consumers are suckers for emotional connection and, without a ‘Want‘ button, we already tell advertisers what we want with our posts, likes, and so forth. I’m not sure if this ‘Want‘ button will stick or if it will just be another failure that comes before the next opportunity, but change is here, whether you want it or not…