File picture: IANS
File picture: IANS

Facebook to launch new shopping feature across apps

By Katie Paul Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Facebook Inc is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on the world's largest social network's platforms, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.

The move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook's launch last year of limited shopping options on photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp.

Facebook Shops will tie at least some of those efforts together, enabling businesses to set up a single online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature will enable in-app purchases.

As with Facebook's other e-commerce features Shops will be free for businesses to access, with the expectation that the tool will boost consumer engagement and ad sales.

"Our business model here is ads," Zuckerberg said in a livestreamed video announcing the product.

"So rather than charge businesses for shops, we know that shops are valuable for businesses. They're going to in general bid more for ads and we'll eventually make money that way."

Facebook is also rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to make purchases directly while watching.

The world's biggest social media company removed about 4.7 million posts connected to hate organizations on its flagship app in the first quarter, up from 1.6 million in the 2019 fourth quarter. It also deleted 9.6 million posts containing hate speech, compared with 5.7 million in the prior period.

That marks a six-fold increase in hateful content removals since the second half of 2017, the earliest period for which Facebook discloses data.

The company also said it put warning labels on about 50 million pieces of content related to COVID-19, after taking the unusually aggressive step of banning harmful misinformation about the new coronavirus at the start of the pandemic.

Reuters

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