Facebook testing new 'Want' button on Open Graph

  • Author: Lauren
  • Lauren Fisher,

Let's face it. Right now Facebook could do with another 'Like' button moment. When it came out, it saw the social network step up to a new level, massively expanding its reach across the web and outside of the platform itself.

Post-IPO disasters and a dodgy mobile monetisation strategy are seeing Facebook fall slightly from grace, or crash spectacularly, depending on how you look at it. But it looks like they could be about to introduce a major new feature that could see them have their 'Like' moment once again. Only this time, it's in the form of  a 'Want' button.

It's been discovered by the developer Tom Waddington in the Facebook SDK, with the tag <fb:wants>. As this isn't an official announcement from Facebook, details of the button's functionality aren't yet known, but it's evident that this is strongly tied to e-commerce, with developers being able to set functionality for 'Wants' to integrate with Timeline, feeding back information about particular objects that users have expressed interest in. This is different to the current Want action, which requires users to authorise an app in order for the action to be fed back to Timeline (similar to 'reading' an article on the Guardian app etc.)

What remains to be seen, however, is how closely that expression of a 'Want' is then directly tied to ecommerce. Does clicking 'Want' take you to a place where you can buy, or would it generate a shopping list of sorts, allowing you to keep track of the products you're interested in buying?

This could be integrated with user profiles, adding in an additional box along the top of the page to keep track of your wants:

Which could then be generated into a Pinterest style board, with direct links to commerce providers.

And we can be pretty sure that this is going to be Facebook's trump card for ecommerce providers. It will potentially give them access to a whole new set of data that brands will want access to, being able to see not only who has an interest in your business, but particular products they're interested in.