Engage with their customers
Sell and manage product/service deliveries
Target specific customer audience
Show products/services availability
Whatsapp could be the right solution not facebook apps.
Also a combination of Yelp and Facebook/Whatsapp could lead replacing small business websites(I'm not telling that no smb website should exist) that going to make a fortune. The platform needs to accomplish these three things :
The ability to list core info like contact details, hours of operation, and service offerings in a minimalist fashion.
The ability to solicit feedback (not ratings) from customers in a low-friction, high-upside way.
An ad system that let's a 60 year-old luddite set up a campaign in less than 3 minutes without having to call anyone.
There's a lot to tell but I'll leave you with these thoughts.
On the other hand, for information requests they already have Whatsapp for businesses and it works fine, several luddites I know use it.
Unfortunately, that's not how these things work. I don't know of any mainstream platform that died because of ads.
You have to keep in mind the fact that the average person on this site has a total different attitude to technology and its warts than most other people.
But as you say, mainstream platforms with no competitors seem to get away with it.
Does it permit playing of videos audio-only? I use backing tracks on my Honor Play but it has terrible screen burn so after an hour of instrument practice my screen looks like the comments section (which keeps moving on YouTube)
Most wrap YT's website, add an Adblocker, and block certain APIs that prevent Picture-in-Picture, background playback, etc.
The small downside is that these apps can't use play services and thus you can't login to leave likes, comments, etc. Though you can use "Share" to open the same video in browser where you can login normally.
Google creates a shadow profile for you in that 3rd-party app, and after a few videos you watch the quickly associate you with your other profiles / shadow profiles. So, in a matter of hours or days YouTube will start recommend you content tailored to you, even though you are not logged it.
Works remarkably well.
* Traditional television.
* Online websites of traditional newspapers - they wouldn’t have moved to paywalling if advertising was working.
* MySpace (not directly, but a contributory factor).
they surely make something on advertising because the ads are present even behind the paywalls.
If that had been baked into the conversations it would have been one of the best customer experiences we could have hoped for. Appreciate feature creep would then be a concern, but depending on how they could limit it, it could be absolutely fantastic.
(We then also got "personalised" follow up messages asking us to review, which is somewhat inevitable - but that had to be done on a case by case basis. I agree, we could only put with with a small amount of automation before things turn south quickly).
If I could find out who has what in stock and at what price before I leave the house and if I could reserve it, it would definitely encourage me to shop locally more.
I’m put off by the thought of a wasted trip. The suggestion of “we could order that in for you” is obviously not great either when I can probably order it in faster myself.
I hardly ever browse in a real shop anymore because I feel like I’m waisting their time if I don’t buy something.
As someone who works with such a small business the main problem is finding customers who are a good match as you say.
But if you fix it for everyone, then you're back to a crowded market and it'll be hard to stand out yet again. Instead of SEO and marketing you will optimise to whatever helps on the new platform.
Sometimes it feels very much like a Red Queen's race .
I also hate the current ad systems since they can be overwhelming, however, they are fairly easy to use. What is not so easy is avoiding blowing your whole budget because you don't know what you're doing with fine grained targeting. This is not because the systems are bad per se - it's that someone else will come along, target more efficiently than you, and will indirectly bid up keywords etc so that you are no longer making a good ROI on your own ads but they still can. So it's catch up or get out.
Your post helps ground and frame the discussion appropriately.
"Merchants will get control over customization and merchandising for their storefronts inside Facebook and Instagram, while managing their products, inventory, orders, and fulfillment directly from within Shopify."
"Consumers will be able to easily find, browse, and buy products through a purpose-built, immersive experience in these apps they use every day. Checkout will be powered by Shopify for merchants, with Shopify also offering Instagram Checkout to select merchants testing the new feature."
Facebook wants to capture all discovery through FB and Insta directly competing with Amazon and Google Shopping.
I don't have a Facebook account. As a result, I cannot "discover" anything on the platform. Facebook continues to become a less popular platform and their name continues to loose value thanks to constant involvement in scandals. I may be a minority, but I suspect I'm part of a growing minority.
I can't imagine many shops using this as a primary storefront and I can't imagine this offering much value to small businesses as a supplemental storefront.
Besides, who would be naive enough to trust Facebook with the primary storefront for a serious business? They have no obligation to create a good experience for sellers. All they care about is feeding the ad machine with more user data.
Facebook hasn't been "cool" for a long time. It's not a platform most people want to be on. It's just so ubiquitous that many people feel obligated to be on it. Unless that changes, Facebook (the social media site, not the company) will continue to die a very slow death.
That’s not to say there aren’t many on facebook who will use this.
Facebook Shop just sounds like the next evolution of this.
You give up a lot of control when you use FB, they control branding, UI, UX, etc.. if you don't care about those things and you just want to sell stuff, that's probably fine..
I say this of course without knowing what the future holds for FB Shops..
Facebook is basically already the shopping mall food court and bus stop, they're just adding the stores now I guess..
I won’t shop with sites powered by Facebook so there must be at least some segment of the market that Shopify can still hold.
For 1 million "merchants"? in other words $100k per merchant.
Many of these are t-shirt & mug sales sort of people.
Is Facebook Shops not a direct competitor to Shopify? Or is this just "embrace, extend, and extinguish"?
Alternatively, they could be looking to make FB Shops an advertising platform, similar to Amazon Seller Central, where they don't care who you buy from, but they want each seller to pay for ads and/or payment processing.
Im not saying that's what they are doing, but its a way to skim off all transactions instead of trying to force business into facebook.
It seems like a bad deal for Shopify sellers. They must pay FB 5% and Shopify 2% of each transaction. If they jettisoned Shopify, they'd just pay FB 5%.
For keeping a database of photos and descriptions & integrating with APIs?
Doesn't that seem overpriced?
Merchants are paying Shopify per transaction while customers shop on another site & pay using Google Pay, Paypal, FB Pay, or Apple Pay.
I'm wondering how Facebook Shops is going to impact Shopify,Amazon and Google Shopping in the long term.
Shopify is doing nothing on a transaction level & yet they have a stock that requires growth, so they are charging 2% per transaction.
I kid you not.
Anyway out of all those listed, I would think Shopify has the biggest to gain. While I dont know enough about the possibility of Facebook doing Triple E, at least All of a sudden Shopify's insane valuation makes a little more sense and justifying the possible potential. Currently market cap at ˜90B and trading at ˜50x revenue.
A mid level employee who joined around their IPO, with ~$300k of stock vesting over four years would be worth almost $18MM today.
Shopify is only using FB's merchant APIs: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/commerce-platform/ And that's it.
They are allowing Shopify merchants to publish their inventories to the FB store. In exchange Shopify wants 2% of every transaction and 30 bucks a month or 9 bucks for their "lite" version.
Or you can just use FB directly to stock your store & pay Shopify zilch.
Depends how serious FB wants to invest in building out their own e-commerce backend platform. Not sure it is that valuable to them when IG is the more differentiating part of the product.
Also the founder is an egomaniac and would never sell.
"Introducing Antitrust action against Facebook (justice.gov)"
Otherwise you'll probably have to wait until the next admin at least.
While she made that point, I would say that was more rhetoric than serious intent. That's not only because of Ms. Warren's strong party-establishment loyalties, but more significantly because of her stated intent and practice of being financed by large pro-corporate donors (albeit not Facebook) and her disinterest in combating the political influence of the tech giants on the donation-recipient side.
I can see it now. Scroll Instagram to see photos of your friends wearing new clothes, "like" the photo. Get an ad the next day for that same product now available from a Facebook Shop for 40% off. Use your Facebook Credits to buy it.
All they'd need to do is make the UI more discoverable and make the search results include products, and they'd be $1B up on revenue...
But it didn't happen because people are mostly just selfish.
They don't care if they're in a certain "class", they don't care if they're being sold to, they generally don't care if they're being tracked. They just care about being able to do what they want to do.
As long as it doesn't interfere with their life too much (or even if it does, if there's no alternative), they don't do anything about it. And with the modern population, as long as it is extremely easy they will do it.
I am not sure if this is good or bad, or just an inherent part of human nature.
We were hoping this was some sort of shop built into marketplace that was curated or searchable or something, since we've had some success selling on there, but it's a complete garbage pile and dealing with people is awful and doesn't scale very fast. People flake out like crazy, no way to manage messages well or anything. Missed opportunity.
Maybe for Instagram, having a shop built into your profile could be awesome instead of saying, "link in profile" then having your user search for the product they say starting at your site homepage.
If you think you were being tracked across every mouse hover and scroll now, imagine what it’ll look like when there’s this much on the line.
They've allowed money transfer through Messenger for sometime now. The UX is probably the best I've had. I prefer sending money that way because it's through the debit card (easy set up), free, and instant.
So there's a growth pressure across the company's structure chain. From this point on, it would be interesting to see what other products FB would launch to leverage their huge social network. My 5 dollar bet would be cloud infra that compete with AWS and Azure - the selling point would be, hey join FB Cloud Infra and we'll help you reach 2 billion FB users!
Facebook Shops seems like a Shopify clone to me ... but I'm not sure as I haven't really used Shopify (and I keep mistaking it for Spotify).
A ton of people, when they want to buy something, put it into Amazon's search box. If a product doesn't show up there, it might as well not exist.
Also, Amazon reviews. I can't count the number of times I've chosen not to buy a product because Amazon's reviews warned me away. Ordering something from a small shop where there are no reviews, or the reviews seem fake or too positive? I feel like there's a much greater chance of being taken advantage of with a shoddy product.
End of the day, on Amazon I generally know exactly the quality I should expect, that it will arrive on time, and that I can return it if there are any issues.
I'm a member of a couple of local groups, largely for buying/selling kids clothing/toys. Something like that wouldn't work so well on other platforms - getting cheap stuff locally.
Of course etsy has its own problems, with a large number of their shops just being fronts for aliexpress resellers.
In addition to that, making your own webstore used to be more complicated and difficult than it is now; platforms like Shopify have really lowered the barrier to market entry.
Combine that with Amazon handling the bulk of customer support, returns, and payments and you end up making more money on Amazon than anywhere else.
I've actually tried to get a company to price match their own store on Amazon and they told me to just order it on Amazon because it was better for them.
Amazon is often cheaper.
When you account for the cost of a part time web dev and designer, as well as Shopify plugins and fees, I imagine the merchant probably prefers for me to buy on amazon.
They do it to sell to people that are shopping on Amazon in spite of every problem with it. Never being undercut by Amazon isn't important to these sellers. Think, "I don't want to live in a world where someone gets undercut by Amazon better than us".
Or just stick a paypal button on a static site.
Their store is at https://wikileaks.shop/ or https://eu.wikileaks.shop/
And the shops would need to either duplicate inventory or lock it in facebook.
They 've tried this before, and failed
I don't think it will be better this time
Not true by my experience. In fact, lots of people go shopping together.
Sure, some stuff is private. But most clothes, electronics, computer games, household, furniture etc etc is stuff people buy and share around all the time.
I suppose if there is an API, but they haven't released public documentation, it might be possible to find out details about many of the endpoint from WooCommerce's code.
Damned if you do enable a genocide, damned if you... oh no, just the first one.
FB will use them, chew and spit them out.
FB only wants shopify now because it has all the data, inventory, categorization, etc.
The next logical move would be to buy a company like wix, then target smb with their sales and marketing team to help them make digital storefronts on FB, integrate with their social platform and then ditch shopify.
Edit : Also, there is no way to tell if your competitor is paying to get your data and costomer info.
This will lead to an overall weakening of the mom and pop store operations, where they are disrupted ever more easily by the competition.
To me, this looks like FB has finally accepted defeat in the social networking space. Over the years it has been deteriorating at delivering on its core mission of connecting people and supporting personal relationships.
I don’t think FB of the past would have green lighted this project, the hit on its brand positioning is significant. It will only accelerate people’s disassociation between FB and a social network.
Effectively, at this point they’re just cashing in on their brand equity and milking their user base.
They’ll pay in terms of churn and decreased LTV.
Shopping on the other hand, is a private and individualistic activity.
I feel this is far removed from their core mission.
Some people go to malls as a social activity. Others like to read product reviews by people (sometimes well known bloggers), or watch youtube videos. Sometimes people even ask their friends for product recommendations. Shopping is to some a very social thing.
Not for me. Especially if I'm buying something fun/non-boring.
The "Instagram Shop" part of the offering they're describing, sounds less like an independent system, and more like a way for independent creators to get the same benefits as those large partners, where they can take a picture of the fancy sweater they made, have it appear on trending, and then there can be a "Buy" button right there on the post everyone's sharing. It's an Instagram integration for the Facebook Shop system.
I also don't think there's going to be a separate "Instagram Shop" landing page for a given account, per se; if there is an index view, it'll just be a collection of the buyable items posted by a given Instagram account. The expectation, though, would be that "buyable" posts would just be part of a brand page's regular feed of posts. The "buy button" is just an enhancement to what the account was already doing, rather than a whole separate storefront to set up.
I'm guessing, in the end, what you'd really be purchasing via the Instagram hosted inline purchase flow, is a Facebook Shop product SKU. You'd probably get an email from Facebook Shopping about your product, etc. In other words, "Facebook Shop" would be a payment processor / hosted commerce backend, that happens to have a flagship front-end UX; and Instagram would be an alternative front-end UX.
> Also what about for folks who don't use either of those services?
Given the way they seem to be building it, there's definitely some backend core with an API that looks a lot like Shopify's API. I'm guessing they'll offer third-party developer access to that API.
"Also what about for folks who don't use either of those services?" Then obviously you won't use Facebook Shop, you can use Amazon or any other ecommerce service.
More seriously, I don't think they're requiring exclusivity.
>'GrokNet', the AI behind Facebook Shops, looks for body type, skin tone, location, socioeconomic class in photos
Is there good reason to be concerned on this level?
(For reference if you don't have wechat or alipay in China, you might as well live as an hermit because fewer and fewer places will accomodate you)
Facebook is largely a real person <-> online person connector and a very crude version of everyday items such as photographs, calendars, small shops, etc.
Except computers lift the constraint of copying being expensive in the real world, while the internet lifts the constraint of copied object being expensive and slow to move around.
While Amazon provides inventory and delivery infrastructure to businesses and an internet storefront for customers, Facebook hardly provides anything that isn't trivial to copy - they rely solely on network effects and as a result - can largely be seen as a middleman parasite, worthy of extermination.
Because if so it's a non-starter for myself and anyone comfortable with the stripe api and/or shopify at least.
I won't see those businesses, but I know I am a minority, when it comes to this.
Thank you for being self aware enough to know that you are in the minority when it comes to not having Facebook.
Most posts by people who don’t use FB and post to HN feign ignorance and say something like “I haven’t used FB in 10 years. Does anyone still use it?”
I vaguely recall a HN comment on a different subject which drew a parallel to the famous Yogi Berra quip, “Nobody goes there anymore, too crowded.” It sounds like one of his classic oxymorons, but there is a deeper implication with respect to tastemakers/early adopters/elite users who flee anything once it has its “Eternal September.”
Yes, it’s too crowded, but what we’re really saying with a line like that is, “Too crowded with the wrong kind of people.”
But for me, Facebook is crowded with plenty of the right kind of people. Lots of my climbing tribe coördinate trips on FB, and I miss out on that. There are multiple Volvo enthusiast groups on FB, and I miss out on get-togethers if nobody remembers to text me.
So, scarface74, I’m with you on the importance of being self-aware about the fact that while we may not use a thing for ethical reasons, or because it no longer adds value to our lives, but nevertheless it is still crowded with people who have perfectly valid reasons for liking it.
You keep your Facebook account for the rare occasion that it’s useful. I logged into mine to keep up with old friends during covid, rather than waiting for reunions to find out if someone died.
You wish it was that way but you do have one. An increasing number of businesses submit their financial data to Facebook and Facebook uses that data to track your offline activities. Few months ago they made some of this info available to you.
As pointed out downthread, a lot more people on earth don’t have FB than do.
I’d also wager plenty of people who’ve stopped using it still technically “have” an account but never use it.
So how do you define that “the majority” use Facebook?
First subtract China where it isn't available and you're down to a possible market of 6.35 Billion. But then start subtracting the number of children in the world, the number too poor to spend any money on anything FB would be selling or advertising and random other places where it might be blocked.
That you just ignore the country with the largest population because Facebook doesn’t operate there is a big tell.
Also, why would you assume the kind of products people might sell and thus their pricing? I’ve seen (and bought!) stuff online for ~ 11THB. 35 US cents.
You can say a lot of people use Facebook and that’s fine. But if you’re going to say “the majority of people” you really need to define which people you’re talking about.
But to be even more blunt. FB no more cares about people spending 35 cents online than Apple cares about people who only want to/can buy a phone that cost $100.
For the markets that Facebook is common in, it has enough of a user base that it can be an all-in-one for a small business.
Could subvert Patreon in a way also. The implications are there I think.
Next, Youtube to partner with IKEA to bring you a virtual reality furniture shop /s
Maybe effective? Smart implies a bit too much imo. For a while now, users have been using pages to promote their businesses and using FB pay for transactions. It seems this was inevitable, and I'm more surprising how long it took than how "really smart" it is.
Everything Facebook builds has to scale to billions immediately. Could be a contributing factor to why it took them this long to do this.
And more useless noice on Facebook of everyone promoting their take-away.
Ps. I buy local, the take-aways across the street. Not the 30 places from my old hometown.
That’s just PR speak. The truth, as it will be realized soon (if not suspected already), is that this will not be free. It will take away the freedom of the businesses and hold them to ransom for Facebook’s own benefit. Neither will it be simple to move out when the realization hits.
It’s a trap, IMNSHO!
The PR speak says it will be simple. Sure. If your customer satisfaction metrics drop below 99.99999998% you lose your business. Simple!
The paradox of advertising is well known as well, yet ad spend continues to go up.
Unfortunately there aren't many solutions to the dilemma, there's always the illusion of choice but the reality ends up being coercive nonetheless.
Did you know they're doing dating, gamestreaming, classified ads....list goes on longer than my patience.
Do you mean payment chargebacks, refunds and fraud tickets?
Im not in the HN bubble so much, I did delete for a few years.
Recently installed it to get on a few silver bullion trading groups as there is a shortage and boy are those groups super valuable for buying and selling.
EDIT: thanks for the responses. Will block at DNS :)
Does shit break because something, something FB SDK? Nope, at least not shit I care about, and not FB.
But for the most part, I get to mostly forget that FB even exists.
Since FB lacks strong values it gets imposed on the wider community, but such is life. The only true option is using or building alternatives. Trying to chain the monster, where every individual positive attributes always has to be controlled and directed from some other central body, whom we then also have to trust with even more power, sounds like a losing game to me.
Not using FB isn't that difficult anyway. There's plenty of group messaging apps that achieve much of the same.
Having stated that, consider if you eliminate Facebook from your life and have issues on the web, and the answer to those issues is not "create a Facebook account" then it should be relatively safe to remove Facebook from your life.
My concern is there isn't yet a law or enforced guidelines (similar to the GDPR) about machine learning, and what happens when it gets things wrong.
Recently, we've seen with a postcast app and pushbullet being threatened on Google. What happens if an AI or system decides it no longer likes your shop, or factors outside your control cause it to be flagged?
A commenter worried about MLM's, which is a valid point. Will we know the identity of the FB user who made the shop? How does the ownership process works? (I.E who actually "owns" the FB shop on FB and get admin controls).
I refuse to engage with and use FB, it may be that some shops become entirely FB oriented and forget "mycoolshop.com", because FB provides all the tools a business owner needs.
Sad, but slowly we're seeing the death of the internet we all wanted and possibly knew for a time in the early part of the century.