Facebook Gears Up For Fresh Ecommerce Assault With Launch Of New Platform

Social media giant Facebook is stepping up its efforts to finally crack the ecommerce space after the weekend launch of its new Facebook Shops platform. The platform will span its core Facebook app, Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp. Retailers will be able to upload and sell products directly through their Facebook pages and Instagram profiles.

Facebook also announced it will continue to invest heavily in the new platform and is developing new features such as shoppable live Instagram video streams.

Valued at around $655 billion, Facebook has grown from a social media start-up into one of the world’s largest internet-based technology companies. As well as the original Facebook social media platform, the company owns popular picture and video-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp. Between the three, the company boasts over 2.6 billion monthly users. Its revenue model is digital advertising on its platforms and apps.

Facebook Shops is not the company’s first foray into online shopping but its previous attempts have struggled to gain any serious traction. However, it looks as if Facebook is now putting the corporation’s full focus on seriously breaking into Ecommerce as a major player. Facebook Shops is a far more complete product than previous piecemeal attempts.

The new platform will be monetised by Facebook placing ads, similarly to how it generates revenue from Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented:

“Rather than charge businesses for Shops . . . they’re going to in general bid more for ads and we’ll eventually make money that way.”

As of last weekend, Facebook Shops is already being rolled out in the USA, with Europe and other parts of the world to follow in coming months. Like competitors including Amazon, and eBay, Facebook says Shops will allow retailers from small companies to global brands to connect with and sell to customers internationally.

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Facebook is one of the few companies whose share price has not been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Following a drop in value along with the rest of the market in March, the Facebook share price has since recovered to set new historical highs this week.

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