Facebook is quietly rolling out new e-commerce capabilities. Beginning this week, users will see a shopping section packed with product listings that is entirely separate from the news feed. These lists will be customized for users depending on their interests and Facebook activity, and access will initially be limited to a small group of retailers.
According to Re/code, the idea is to build an infrastructure for shopping on Facebook. The social network is also introducing another feature, which will allow brands to offer a selection of products through Facebook’s new mobile ads; users can buy items from retailers like Target without leaving Facebook.
Facebook is joined in its e-commerce aspirations by competitors like Twitter and Pinterest. In September, Twitter entered into partnerships with e-commerce platforms Shopify, Demandware, and Bigcommerce. Any vendor who uses those services can now insert a buy button into their tweets. Last week, Pinterest expanded its own take on the buy button, known as Buyable Pins, by inking deals with Bigcommerce and other e-commerce software companies.