Facebook Inc is launching Shops, a service that will enable enterprises to display and sell products on the platforms of the world’s largest social network, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.
The push towards building up e-commerce services follows last year’s Facebook launch of restricted shopping choices on the Instagram photo-sharing site and WhatsApp messaging service. Company leaders wager to make the sites more business-friendly, even as consumer development slows, would produce fresh ad revenue.
Facebook shops would tie together at least some of those initiatives, allowing companies to set up a single online store that can be accessed from both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature allows in-app transactions, while a more deeply integrated messaging feature allows customers to chat with businesses through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct.
Zuckerberg also said the largest social network in the world will work more closely with Shopify on product integration and with seven other online trading platforms. In a live-streamed video announcing the partnerships, he had Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke joining him in.
After the initial launch of Facebook Shops, shares of Shopify fell, then rebounded following Lütke ‘s presence. In the afternoon U.S. exchange, shares of both companies were up more than 2 percent.
As with other e-commerce apps provided by Facebook, shops will be free for companies to access with the hope that this would improve customer interest and ad sales.
The ads are our business model here,” Zuckerberg said. “We know that shops are important to companies rather than charging companies for them. They ‘re going to pay more for advertising in general and we’re going to make money that way eventually.
Facebook also rolls out a platform for linking loyalty programs and a shopping feature that shows product tags under live videos, enabling viewers to make purchases as they watch. Across Facebook and Instagram, Zuckerberg said more than 800 million people engage with live videos every day.
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