Facebook Trials 'Buy Button' Letting You Purchase Without Leaving Site

Tim Maytom

facebook buy buttonFacebook is testing a new feature, enabling users to buy products featured in ads and Page posts on its desktop and mobile versions, without leaving the social network.

The feature is currently limited to a select number of small and medium-sized businesses in the US while it is trialled, and Facebook assure users that no credit or debit card information is shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they'd like to save their payment information for future purchases.

Facebook has attempted direct purchasing in the past, with limited success. Its virtual currency, Facebook Credits, that enabled users to make purchases within games, was abandoned in 2012. However, with rivals like Twitter and Google adding tools to let people buy goods more seamlessly from their sites, Facebook needs to keep pace.

Twitter were recently found to be testing a similar 'Buy Now' feature, and last year hired a Ticketmaster executive to explore ways to let people purchase goods directly from Tweets, while last month Facebook hired David Marcus, head of eBay's PayPal unit, to run its messaging products, prompting rumours that Facebook may be exploring money transfer or transaction capabilities within its Messenger app.