Well isn't that just great.
There's one week of the year when the rhythm of life and commerce in the US turns upside down and that's this week — the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Most people are off of work or if they are working, it is at best desultorily and peppered with long online breaks. In both cases, shopping is surely on the agenda. Perhaps you see where I am going with this.
None of this, however, deters Facebook. The social network behemoth picked this week to try out small changes on its mobile platform.
These are changes that it may or may not be rolling out on a broader basis but either way are important enough that companies probably would like to track and evaluate and, oh I don't know — immediately put into use during this all important week?
But it is what it is. And to be fair to Facebook, these do seem to be tests with no guarantee they are permanent. Certainly Facebook has not made any official announcements, apparently preferring the features to be surfaced by users who then take to — and you have to admit this is funny — Twitter to report the news.
Facebook is adding customizable interest-based feeds. A newspaper made up of all the world's newspapers. pic.twitter.com/Ll7pib6Mb5— Jason Stein (@jasonwstein) December 29, 2015
Stein is probably referring to a test that first appeared in Facebook in October and reported by Adweek, which provides people the opportunity to follow posts in a specific topic, from their friends and Pages that they had liked.
However, the test that is probably of greater interest to brands using Facebook to connect with customers and any retailers who may be hoping to connect with impulse shoppers this week (ya think there might be some?) is what Facebook is experimenting with in its Shop section that it announced earlier this year.
Before, Shop — or Marketplace as it is also called — was "buried behind the main section of the app," according to The Verge, which reported on the change, courtesy of a heads up from one of its readers, who also gave the publication screen shots of the change.
Now the icon is at the top of the app next to the search bar in the iOS app, similar to where it is in the Android version. "Tapping on the new icon brings you to a shopping page, where you can browse (and buy) items that are being sold by the various Pages you've liked," according to The Verge.
Facebook confirmed the design test to The Verge.
"This year, six in 10 US holiday shoppers plan to shop online or on mobile more than last year," the post began.
"In the final run-up to Christmas, every marketer is considering how to unwrap the mobile opportunity…Exploring our own data, Facebook IQ was able to identify not only the key groups shopping on mobile but also the drivers leading them to do so at a faster rate than their counterparts."
Read it, it's an interesting data collection. Unfortunately Facebook didn't use it to tip its hand about forthcoming change to Shop.