Is Facebook preparing a 'want' button?

The company is reportedly experimenting with the new feature, which would help juice its ad sales and e-commerce partnerships.

By Kim Peterson Jul 6, 2012 1:50PM
Image: African-American woman shopping online (© Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images)Facebook (FB) users already have a "like" button. Is a "want" button coming next?

Web developer Tom Waddington has found the code for a "want" button in Facebook's Javascript and he embedded the code into his personal blog last week, Mashable reports. Click here to see what the button looks like.

A "want" button, as simple as it seems, opens up new consumer and retailing possibilities for Facebook. If you "want" some sandals from Zappos, for example, your friends may see it and check them out. Facebook would immediately fire up its ad business and get new interest from retail partners.

The company may not stop there. Waddington says he has found hidden code allowing people to share their purchases or information about their donations to charities. "In the same way music, news and videos are shared on the site, Facebook is planning to allow users to share both Wants and Purchases, from items bought within games to donations," he told Mashable.

Facebook needs all the ad help it can get. A recent study by search engine marketing company WordStream found that Google ads get almost 10 times more click-throughs than the typical Facebook ad. The average click-through rate of an ad on Google's display network is 0.4%, according to WordStream. The average rate for Facebook is less than 0.05%.

That low rate is likely one of the reasons General Motors (GM) decided in May to stop being a paid Facebook advertiser. GM is reportedly in talks with Facebook to resume advertising, however.

The "want" button emerges as Facebook tests moves to generate more revenue. Its user growth is flattening in developed countries -- emerging-market growth is strong, however -- and the company is trying to wring more revenue from its existing base.

Some of Facebook's moves are suspect, such as the rumored plan to allow kids under age 13 to join. Other moves are just silly, such as asking users to pay to give their status updates more prominence.

The company is clearly desperate for more money, but at what point does it disrupt its initial mission of social community and sharing? The company is already walking a fine line between online hangout and online flea market, and too many commercial changes may alienate users.

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16Comments
Jul 6, 2012 2:15PM
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I hardly trust those ads on Facebook anyways, most are misleading.   
Jul 6, 2012 4:45PM
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The first thing I will "want" is a dislike button
Jul 6, 2012 2:46PM
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What if you WANT to cancel your Facebook account? Will it work for that? I doubt it.
Jul 6, 2012 2:48PM
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Proof positive that the original concept of connectting with people has been surpassed by a profit & loss statement. 

 

It's a marketer's dream button.  What?  You 'want' this particular brand of car ... we'll sell your information directly to that manufacturer so you can be peppered by ads from them.  And since we know you 'want' a vehicle, we'll sell your information to the other car manufacturers so they can overwhelm you with ads from their selection on the off chance you change your mind.

 

When facebook went public it automatically changed its direction.  Blame the SEC for forcing them to be a public company once they hit 500 shareholders.

Jul 6, 2012 4:01PM
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Hey how about  blow it up button?

 

Jul 6, 2012 3:03PM
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My God - what is required to put moments of your existence into this type of activity, this sort of web site? I mean, other that the obvious mental deficiencies?

 

Is it too late to nominate P.T. Barnum for a posthumous Nobel Prize in Economics?

Jul 6, 2012 3:59PM
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I would like to see love it and hate it buttons too like does not fit all situations.
Jul 7, 2012 4:23PM
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wow some people cant help but to milk the cow

Jul 7, 2012 2:13PM
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Some corrupt empires will do ANYTHING to build up more greed into the already greedy, gluttonous humanity that it has been forced to evolve into.

 

They do it for a thing called 'A Buck;' and they try to steal them from you.

 

*Rolls my eyes and sighs*

 

*Claps my hands and says, "WAKE UP!"*

 

 

Jul 8, 2012 7:37AM
Jul 8, 2012 2:26PM
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I find it hard to believe that intelligent people are on Facebook.  Their security is a joke on a good day and the site is riddled with ads, spammers and scammers.  So who is dumb enough to post pics of their vacations (while still away from home) so burglars know when to visit or put pics of their kids or grandkids up for the pedophiles of the world to see?  

I know you're going to flame me and tell me how stupid I am that I don't know about privacy settings, etc.  Really?  Let's go down that path.  How do you think FB advertisers "know" which ads to target you with?  Since all your information is being sold/accessible to STRANGERS 24x7, then why would you believe for 1 second that any of the stuff you put on your FB account is "safe" or private?

To say nothing of the people who think other people care about their lives so much that they would waste their own lives reading the daily details of it.  Jeez, get over yourself already.


Jul 6, 2012 6:41PM
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That's one button I "want" be clicking on.
Jul 6, 2012 4:22PM
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As much trouble as Facebook people get in, I don't know why everyone doesn't close their account and go elsewhere! Obama voters I can understand why, but not intelligent people!
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