What is Facebook Collections? Facebook Collections is Pinterest-Like

The Facebook "Collections" feature is a new venture, where users can collect items or declare that they "want" them in what is essentially an image-based shopping search engine. Instead of searching around an entire site, users can simply visit a friend's profile and click on the Wish list or Products section to browse for things they may be interested in. Users can also visit a retailer's Collections page to browse through products.
The actions the application would allow the user to do are “collect,” “want,” or “buy.” This venture greatly resembles a public wish list of things you love, want, and find inspiring or cute. Brands will be able to link directly from a photo to their e-commerce site. TechRadar says that this will compliment Facebook’s new “gifts” initiative with the long awaited “want” button and the option becoming available to everyone as soon as today with access to all retailers involved.
When a user clicks on e of these options available in Facebook Collections, the action will show up in their Timeline and can be made publicly available to friends. There is no social plugin “as of yet” for this Facebook feature, but the door has been left open for one in the future. This application is thought by many (including Business Insider) to be gunning for is the e-commerce market currently dominated by Google and Amazon, not Pinterest. E-Commerce unlocks a vast portion of advertising based around generating demand and then converting that demand into actual transactions.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest describe themselves as a “virtual pin board that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” Pinterest users use the boards to plan weddings, decorate homes, organize their favorite recipes, or collect inspiration. Users can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and gain inspiration from people who share your interests. Pinterest’s goal, or mission, is to connect users all over the world by the things that they find interesting- connecting people everywhere by similar tastes, interests, and inspirations.
Pinterest allows users to “like,” “comment,” or “repin” pins from other users boards to show off their own individuality and flair. Users can discuss via comments and follow individual boards- in addition to entire user’s board selection. There is also a social plug-in that allows sites to integrate the option to “pin” stories or photos they feature on Pinterest straight from the web, as well as a widget to allow for pinning directly from your browser.

How Facebook Collections and Pinterest Are Similar

What is Facebook Collections?
Both Facebook Collections and Pinterest allow you to start “Boards” or “Collections” of things that you like. They both allow for creativity in curating your own “boards” or “collections” of items within the application and allow for others to see what you’ve picked. They both serve as inspiration for shopping, lifestyle, and d├ęcor amongst other things.
How Facebook Collections and Pinterest Are Different
Pinterest offers a wider variety of pinning with the option to comment, like, repin, or pin via social plug-in, whereas Facebook Collections only let you collect from what is within the collections that have been started by other companies/retailers (as far as my research into the feature has shown me). The one major difference between the two, aside from the lack of a social plugin for Facebook Collections, is that Facebook Collections is driven by the idea of e-commerce, allowing companies to link their site with the option to “buy” by clicking on a photo in a collection. Pinterest does not have this, nor do they seem to be moving in this direction, and Facebook seems to be interested in exploring that option as a way of diversifying their similar product.

How Brands Can Use Collections

Facebook Collections is Pinterest-Like

 

Brands can use collections to help drive traffic to their site and increase sales by allowing for eCommerce through Facebook via the Collections feature. It is a way to create an all-in-one experience in Facebook that can end in a user making a purchase. Facebook is currently only experimenting with seven brands, though it is looking to expand as they streamline the application while phasing it out of the trial and into a more all-inclusive option for retailers. Brands can use this not only to increase fan awareness but to help increase engagement by allowing for users to share likes, wants, and purchases all without leaving their Facebook pages.
Recommendation
If I had to recommend one, I would recommend Pinterest for lighthearted inspiration boards, planning, collecting images, quotes, or clothes. I would recommend the Facebook Collections specifically to businesses with products to sell, because for everyone else it’s a pointless endeavor. The main purpose of the collections is for retail, which is implied in that Facebook is going through its trial run with solely retail companies (i.e. Victoria’s Secret, Pottery Barn, Michael Kors, and Nieman Marcus, among others).
NOTE: Facebook Collections is in the test phase and only available to a few limited retailers. Facebook has not announced when the feature will be widely available.

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