A Mobile, Social Shopping Experience
While online shopping has been around for years, a growing trend can be seen in purchases made with mobile devices instead of a laptop or desktop. With mobile, customers make payments through apps and mobile versions of e-commerce and payment sites, allowing them to buy items with a few simple screen swipes from wherever they are.
According to a report from AllThingsD's Jason Del Rey and Mike Isaac, Facebook will be joining PayPal, Google Wallet and Amazon Payments by offering users a mobile checkout or payment service.
Facebook confirmed with Del Rey and Issac that the mobile payment feature is being tested in a limited beta with pilot partner JackThreads. If the service goes beyond this initial stage, Facebook members will soon be able to use the credit card information already stored in their accounts for gifts and in-game purchases or to buy items from external sites. Using their Facebook login, customers be able to buy an item without having to re-enter a billing or shipping address, credit card number or security codes.
Skepticism and Insight
If Facebook is successful with this endeavor, Del Ray and Issac say that the service could help marketers and businesses gather important customer insight.
If eventually expanded to more partners, the product would also potentially give Facebook keen insight into the shopping habits and preferences of the company’s users, a lucrative set of data for the world’s largest social network to gather,” they wrote.
Christina Chaey also pointed that a mobile payments service could improve the social network’s own revenue stream.
There are several reports that are wary of having a mobile payment service attached to Facebook, since many social media users don’t trust these networks with their personal information.
Consumers are generally wary of providing social networks with even more information than they already do and the privacy concerns surrounding credit card information are real and can be disconcerting,” wrote Dan Seifert. “But if Facebook is able to convince consumers otherwise, it could become a big thorn in PayPal's side in the very near future."
Facebook in the News
There have also been a few other newsworthy notes from Facebook over the past couple weeks. At the beginning of the month it added the cover feed feature to its Android app, while earlier this week Zuckerberg and team acquired Mobile Technologies, a speech recognition software provider.