For a long time you have been able to create Facebook business pages where you can promote your business. You have also been able to create Facebook Events and draw attention to your events from Facebook. Now you can actually do business on Facebook. For example, you will be able to order food from Delivery.com and Slice. You can request appointments from MyTime. You can buy movie tickets. You can order steaming coffee. You can get plumbing services. The point is, if you have a business presence on Facebook, you can do business on Facebook from both the ends of the spectrum – as a business owner and as a customer or client. The true e-commerce has begun on Facebook and why not, it has more than 1 billion active users.
Of course, such functions need to be activated. A little bit of programming will be required and not everybody can sell stuff on Facebook with a few clicks. It is not as easy as setting up a Facebook business page or Facebook Events page. You may have to include a catalogue, or a shopping cart or you may need to set up a payment system but that’s beside the point. The thing is, you don’t just promote on Facebook, you also do business on Facebook.
The new feature is called the Facebook Utility feature. Initially this utility feature is confined to setting up appointments, buying tickets for events and movie shows and primarily, for ordering food. Later on other services and products may also be included. Here is a video that explains the new Facebook Utility features
The utility feature isn’t something new. In one way or another people have been doing business on Facebook for quite some time now. A few weeks ago Facebook rolled out Marketplace enabling buying and selling between Facebook users. There is an app for Facebook Events that can be used to promote events and sell tickets for them.
Up till now, you have been ordering food, setting up appointments and booking events tickets using different web services or apps. With Facebook, everything comes with your familiar interface and within your familiar environment. What better way to promote an event then to get it recommended by people you trust – your family, your friends and your colleagues. It’s like, there is a salon in your area but you don’t know of it. Your brother knows of it so he shares its Facebook page with you and you can set up an appointment there and then without bothering to exit Facebook and go to the website.
The highlights of the latest developments in the Facebook app include:
- When you write a post asking for recommendations about a barbar or a dentist Facebook uses its artificial intelligence system to notify your friends and they can send you recommendations, even maps. Using these recommendations you can make an appointment there and then.
- You can go to the Facebook company pages of Eventbrite or TicketMaster (in India’s case it would be something like BookMyShow) and directly purchase tickets.
- You can order food from the Facebook business pages of various food outlets and restaurants (goodbye Foodpanda?)
So basically, whatever can be sold, legitimately, can be sold on Facebook. So if you have been thinking of setting up a business on Facebook and selling your products and services directly through Facebook with the help of your friends and colleagues and other contacts on Facebook, this is the right time to take the first step.