News & Views
Facebook adds Buy and Save buttons

Facebook wants to help you waste time at work even more efficiently, and is introducing a Save button which will enable users to bookmark statuses and links, in a move which The Mary Sue’s Rebecca Pahle describes as a “pretty practical, if extremely basic” part of the social network’s “continuing quest to stay relevant.”

In that regard, the newly proposed Save button will pretty much function as an equivalent to Twitter’s Favourite button, which bookmarks content for later reference in addition to giving a tweet the proverbial thumbs up. The major difference here, though, is that such a feature is much more necessary on Twitter, where the real-time feed is constantly pushing interesting content further and further down. It is less likely that users are finding themselves inundated with far more thought-provoking content on Facebook than they can deal with. But it’s nice to have the option, and at least next time you stumble across a New Yorker story or restaurant review, there is less chance of it becoming buried in your phone’s graveyard of bookmarked sites.

“While the feature itself seems like a very smart move by the team at Facebook, we aren’t exactly sure whether to applaud it or be a bit worried about it,” says Chris Huang at Bidness Etc, who suspects that while on the surface a Save button appears to free up time, it will actually lead to people spending more of their day on Facebook, curating “to read” lists.

Facebook is also keen to encourage impulse purchases on-site, and is currently piloting a Buy button on a small number of retail pages, along with an Autofill function which will let users store their credit card details and complete payments on Facebook. But while we are being reassured that “none of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with advertisers”, no promises are being made not to disclose the nature of our purchases to marketers.

“The Buy button looks to appeal to advertisers looking to attract impulse buyers as they scroll through their News Feed and converse with friends,” says Jess Bolluyt, “a move to make ecommerce just a little bit more pervasive on a site and app that millions of people worldwide use every day.”

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