With the Instagram acquisition, the new timeline layout, and their BranchOut project, you would think that Facebook would take a break. As with many multi-billion dollar companies, this just simply isn’t the case, and Facebook has done it again. The network began testing a feature called “collections” that will be very reminiscent of Pinterest; however Facebook claims that the feature is completely unrelated despite the fact that it may end up being a competitor. Regardless, the test has got people talking and asking the question: Do we really need this type of feature to add to Facebook?

How Facebook Collections Will Work

The system is essentially a way for advertisers to add a “want” or “collect” button to posts that they add to their Facebook walls. The idea is that users can click one of these buttons to create a wishlist on Facebook, where they can eventually buy the products and/or services. Clicking these buttons won’t always appear on your Facebook timeline, however, because it really depends upon what you’re clicking. The three options for users would include:

  • Clicking “Want” – There will be a wishlist section on a users timeline, and every time you click “want” it will appear in this wishlist area.
  • Clicking “Collect” – If you click this button, it will go into a list of products on your timeline (or collection of products to get the terminology exact).
  • Clicking “Liked” – This isn’t the same as the “like” that Facebook has now. Clicking that you like a product will go into your products collection.

Because Facebook is still testing the feature, it is only available to 7 different companies including Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, and Neiman Marcus. However in good news, all Facebook users are able to engage with posts IF they are a fan of the company. If you’re not a fan, you won’t be able to see these types of posts.

What This Means for Small Businesses

“Collections” is a great way for businesses to add another layer of promotion and another avenue to sell. If Facebook decides to keep collections, it will likely help businesses get their products in front of relevant eyes. It will really open up a whole new world for the social network. It is different than Pinterest because you aren’t just creating boards; you’re creating boards of things that you really like, and things that you can really buy. Pinterest sometimes makes it difficult to figure out a way to get the photo or design you’re seeing, but it seems easy with Facebook.

This also means that earning Facebook followers is going to be extremely important because only your fans will be able to see these posts. You can learn more here about how to increase your community on Facebook.