Facebook to integrate “Shops” feature with WhatsApp and Marketplace

Facebook has announced it is is integrating its ecommerce “Shops” feature to its messaging platform WhatsApp and Facebook Marketplace in the US.

The social media giant’s chief executive Mark Zuckerberg also said on Tuesday that it planned to introduce personalised ads to Shops based on users’ shopping data.

Shops was launched last year and is an integral part of the platform’s move into the “social commerce” space, seeing more than 300 million monthly visitors and around 1.2 million monthly active Shops.

Zuckerberg announced during Facebook’s last earnings release that the company is focussing on ecommerce, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) and enabling content creators to earn revenue on its platforms.

READ MORE: Facebook to trial adverts in Oculus VR headsets

Facebook is also to trial an artificial intelligence tool coined “visual search” in the coming months.
Visual search users will be able to click on items on the company’s photo-sharing app Instagram and find similar items in Shops.

Users will be able to use the search tool directly from the app’s content or photos on their own camera rolls.

Facebook also recently announced it was trialling AR ads in its Oculus headsets with the view to roll them out in the coming months.

However, the platform’s first advertising partner for the trial pulled out less than a week after the initial announcement after criticism from the gaming community.

Users had resulted to posting one-star reviews of the game Blaston in protest against the trial with Facebook, arguing that paid games shouldn’t bombard users with adverts, the FT reported.

Facebook finished 2020 strongly, citing an “ongoing shift towards online commerce” as the reason for its 33 per cent increase in revenue.

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