There have been rumours for a while that Facebook is planning to introduce a ‘Want’ button, similar to the current ‘Like’ feature but now it seems there’s some hard evidence that this new development is in testing.
Developer Tom Waddington has discovered a new tag buried in Facebook code: <fb:wants>. The Want button isn’t publicly listed with the other social plugins on Facebook’s developer site, but Waddington located is after some digging around.
The ‘Want’ button is a potential goldmine for the social network, which is seeking new revenue models following last month’s disappointing IPO. The feature will allow Facebook users to announce what they like in a purely commercial context. Think Pinterest meets Amazon, it could commercialise a user’s desire with a single click.
Many sites already make use of the ‘Like’ button. If a user ‘likes’ a product it generally means that they already have/use it, or they would like to. However, the ‘Want’ button would allow companies differentiate between users who already had their products and others who want it. Being able to distinguish between these groups of people and target ads to either one could be very powerful for advertisers and help make Facebook a stronger competitor to Google AdWords.
Facebook hasn’t confirmed a rollout plan for the ‘Want’ button plugin but rumours say it could be launched alongside similar ‘Watched’ and ‘Read’ buttons and with this evidence of testing, expect to see it sooner rather than later.