It looks like Facebook is testing out a new way to get its more than 2 billion users to spend money via its platform. Though not yet publicly announced, the tech giant has recently partnered with eBay bringing the online retailer’s Daily Deals to the FB Marketplace.
Currently in the testing phase, the new Daily Deals feature is only available to a small portion of FB users in the U.S. and displays 100 discounted products available on eBay, showing both the percentage discounted from its price as well as a countdown on how long the deal for a particular item is available. To see the actual price, however, you'll have to click on the deal to be transported eBay’s site for check out.
— The Verge (@verge) August 15, 2017
Until now, Facebook Marketplace has always been about peer-to-peer transactions. Relaunched last fall, it aggregates postings from various “buy and sell” groups and, with its integration of Messenger, allows both buyers and sellers a means to communicate and seal their deals, reports Tech Crunch.
With FB Marketplace setting up an online space for buyers and sellers to meet, the feature was seen as a competitor for Craigslist and eBay, according to TheVerge. Thus, it is a bit surprising that Facebook has now teamed up with a third-party site for deals promotion and with eBay at that.
However, it looks like Facebook offering eBay’s Daily Deals is the social media giant’s tentative step in looking for new ways to monetize its more than 2 billion active user base. As stated by Akash Anand, Facebook Production Manager, “We’re conducting a test to determine if people are interested in shopping for discounted products when they visit Marketplace.” The bottom line is that Daily Deals is still in its testing phase; the feature may not even reach mainstream users as it could be dropped depending on user reception.
In a way, Facebook’s partnership with eBay could be the company’s response to Spark. Last month, Amazon entered the social media scene by creating its own platform – Spark – which is basically a network where consumers can compare notes on the various products being sold by Amazon.
In Facebook’s case, it will be the reverse of what Amazon did with Spark since the social media giant will now be venturing into eCommerce. Though Facebook is not asking for a share from eBay in the revenue from the Daily Deals feature at the moment, it is easy to see how such an arrangement could be worked out in the future.
— Erkan AYAN (@ErkanAYAN2013) August 15, 2017
But there is one reason why Facebook could be hesitant in going all out on eCommerce. Unlike Amazon whose revenue is mainly sourced from online sales, Facebook’s cash cow is advertising. The deal with eBay, however, might turn off some sellers/advertisers as they might see it as competition to their brand’s visibility unless their product is included in eBay’s Daily Deals of course.
It is interesting to note that Facebook's deal with eBay is not exclusive. This opens up the possibility that the company could enter into an agreement with other third-party sellers in the future for them to post their own daily deals.
Just like Facebook, advertisers need to follow how FB’s deal with eBay pans out. Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted on the latest developments.[Featured Image via Youtube]