I wrote a little while back about the Facebook beta test in the US, allowing a small group of retailers to sell real goods through Facebook’s gift application. Well very soon, Facebook is going to become an e-commerce platform in a major way. See this techcrunch post here.
That’s because of a number of developments, the most interesting of which are Paypal’s opening up of their Adaptive Payments API. This allows developers to build applications that can accept and distribute payments. The first interesting application is Payvment which enables anyone to set up a retail storefront on Facebook. For small retailers this is huge news, as there is pretty much zero infrastructure cost now to opening an online store. But even for bigger retailers a facebook storefront will be interesting. More and more brands have a presence on Facebook – now they can monetise that presence by allowing facebook users to make purchases for themselves or their friends.
Payvment features a regular shopping cart and has the huge advantage over previous Facebook e-commerce applications of keeping the transaction within the Facebook environment. In the past users had to jump out of Facebook to complete a transaction, which is why so few retailers have built e-commerce Facebook applications.
That is set to change very quickly. Payvment is opened up to the public from November 1st. It wouldn’t surprise me if we very quickly saw quite large shopping portals opening within Facebook.