Facebook might be in the process of testing a Want button to go along side its existing Like button according to InsideFacebook. But what would an addition to Facebook’s button arsenal in the form of a Want button actually mean for companies and brands?
Opportunities for brands
Facebook’s current Like button is a great tool for advertisers to figure out things such as target demographics and popular trends on Facebook. But when Facebook users ‘like’ a post or a product, it doesn’t necessarily indicate an intent to buy. A Want button, however, removes the ambiguity about whether a user just appreciates and ‘likes’ a product or whether they actually have a real desire to buy it. It could thus be a potentially huge development for brands as it is a more tangible measure that they might be able to extract great value from. The Want button would provide Facebook with a massive amount of new data on their users’ purchase-intent. If they make this data available to advertisers, brands would then be able to target brand messages based on the users’ ‘want’ preferences.
The Want button might make Facebook more competitive with Google in the battle for online advertising revenue. The current power of Google’s Adwords is that when someone searches for an item on Google, shopping intent is very often inferred. At the moment not many people go to Facebook to do shopping. However, the Want button would allow Facebook users to add products to some kind of virtual wish lists. This would again make it a very valuable tool for advertisers, who would then be able to target ads and product recommendations based on a users desire for similar products. If Facebook goes ahead with the new Want button and the users start creating their own virtual wish lists, it is possible that shopping directly from Facebook might soon become much more widespread than it is at the moment. It will be interesting to see whether Facebook actually rolls out this new Want button sometime in the near future. If this is the case, which other marketing opportunities do you predict a Want button could potentially have for brands? And do you think ‘wanting’ something implies shopping intent the same way that searching for something on Google does?