Meta’s leaked memos reveal that the company is looking to push e-commerce further on its own platforms, namely Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Of course, there is absolutely no need for a memo for us to realize this. Meta has been incorporating more and more online stores and e-commerce outlets across all three platforms for centuries. Facebook has been a lynchpin for retail and shopping since the 2010s. Facebook Marketplace and Business are clear indicators of how much the social network has served online shopping for its user base. I mean, I say because of its user base, but it is very clear that personal benefit was always the main objective. The platform is also looking to incorporate AR into online shopping, with the intention of creating a unique customer experience. Which, yes, it would be very unique and utterly unheard of … if there weren’t a little niche platform by the name of Snapchat in the first place. Oh good. If Facebook stole the Stories, it might as well steal some other features, right?
Instagram’s approach to ecommerce was heavily influenced by influencers and content creators who made it big on the platform. Recent spots on the platform have opened up as a way for online celebrities to sell their custom branded products to fans who adore them and thus Instagram Shopping made its way into the general consciousness. It has been a lucrative source of income for all parties involved. WhatsApp, although it does not yet have a dedicated store, still has retailers and the like operating within the platform. Business tools have also been opened to them, and WhatsApp also allows users the option to set up business accounts and thus be more accessible to customers. The tools are constantly being updated, all geared towards improving the overall customer experience.
So this is what already exists. What does Meta see in the future of all these platforms? Well, Business Platform & Announcement team leader Dan Levy shared a whitepaper titled “Business Directions and Priorities for 2022” with Insider. The document states that one of the top priorities moving forward will be to use Facebook and Instagram online stores to sell even more products, with a heavy emphasis on lifestyle brands. Leaked memos from the team reveal that the ecommerce platform Shopify is being viewed as a “friendly foe,” which in Meta’s eyes is nothing less than the next big competition.
The document concludes that 2022 will be considered a success if on-site store ads are more effective than those that invite users to purchase products outside of Meta platforms.
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