Facebook’s F8 Conference earlier this year was all about making it easy for developers to get their apps in the spotlight for its 1-billion user base. The social media company offered packages to developers to help them develop apps and use those apps to advocate their products. The packages gave $5,000 to starting developers, while giving $15,000 worth of resources to more advanced developers who’ve already had some success on Facebook.
Now, for those who want to sell products but can’t afford to build apps from the ground up, Facebook’s allowing advertisers to sell apps directly within the company’s core Facebook app. “The current test is limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US,” according to the company blog.
Users will be able to purchase new products from advertisers from their home page, and Facebook says that it’ll provide an option that lets users’ credit card and debit card information be stored – should the user choose to store their financial information with Facebook.
On one hand, the feature will help small businesses to get off the ground without financial burden regarding apps and other business development. Yet and still, there are a number of large developers on Facebook with products in their businesses, and they may decide to express frustration at the thought that they, too, can’t have easy access to Facebook users. In some part, they’ve helped Facebook be what it is – and they’ll likely demand some sort of shared footing with small businesses.
At the same time, even if this new test is successful, Facebook’s got a lot to overcome. The company’s recent social experiment on 700,000 unsuspecting users over a 7-day period back in 2012 is likely to pop up in users’ minds when they intend to buy something from any advertiser on Facebook.
Zuckerberg’s company’s said that they’re working on implementing better privacy features for Facebook users so that users will invest in developers, but many of those measures have yet to appear in the Facebook experience. And now, after the “internal operations” clause that was added four months after the so-called virtual experiment isn’t gonna inspire confidence in users who value their privacy.
Something tells me that Facebook will, at some point, include an “internal operations credit card” clause into the statement that allows your credit card information to be shared. If the company can test 700,000 users and share their information with others (against the social media company’s policy), what could it do with 700,000 credit cards and debit card numbers?