Remember how, a couple of weeks back, Amazon announced that they were launching their own social and messaging apps?
You know what Facebook really hates? People stepping on their turf. Just ask Snapchat.
As such, since Amazon's announcement, Facebook has announced a range of smaller updates which help to evolve its eCommerce potential.
- Widened the roll out of Product Tags in Page posts, enabling more businesses to directly promote products
- Added new direct payment options in Facebook and Messenger
- Updated the Messenger payments process as part of Messenger Platform 2.0
- Added a new 'Store Visits' custom audience to better target in-store shoppers
Of course, many of these options would have been in development for some time, but the cumulation of related announcements may suggest that Facebook's looking to fast-track their efforts on the eCommerce front to fend off any potential of Amazon's social tools gaining ground.
And now they're adding another, with the addition of eBay 'Daily Deals' within the listings included on Facebook Marketplace.
As explained by TechCrunch:
"The deals can be shopped directly in Facebook's app, but checkout takes place on eBay's website through an in-app browser."
As shown in the above example, each 'deal' will be displayed with a percentage off, and there'll be an indicator at the top of each listing to show how long each is available. Facebook says there'll be around 100 new items posted to the section daily.
"While eBay is the current source for these deals, Facebook's arrangement with eBay is not exclusive. That means if this proves to be a popular feature, Facebook could expand Daily Deals to include those from other third parties as well."
Essentially, Facebook's mission is to dominate social, but as their ambitions expand, so too does their need to branch into other market segments. So while Amazon would appear to be making an aggressive - and likely ill-advised - move into social, it's actually Facebook's slow shift towards eCommerce that's pushed them to act. In this sense, Facebook's fending off a potential threat for user attention, but Amazon's pre-empting a further push from Facebook, through the development of Messenger bots and other eCommerce tools.
So who wins? Facebook has the audience, but Amazon has the on-platform buying tools, the product catalog, Amazon, you'd have to say, has a strong lead in the category. Will they win with their social apps? Probably not, it's hard to see either of their social/messaging tools catching on in any significant way. Will Facebook eventually beat out Amazon with the development of Messenger bots and similar tools? Maybe. But there's a long way to go yet.
The introduction of eBay's Daily Deals also comes as Facebook expands Marketplace into Europe, adding 17 more European nations to those able to access and utilize the tool.
Facebook says that in May, more than 18 million new items were posted for sale in Marketplace in the US alone, highlighting the potential of the option, and with additional sellers moving in, it could become a new, key tool in their advancement of direct selling tools.
Right now, Daily Deals is an experiment, a small scale test. But it's interesting to see where The Social Network's attentions lie on this front - and to consider what might come next.
eBay 'Daily Deals' are now available to a small percentage of people in the U.S. on both Android and iOS apps.