So what's up with Facebook commerce?
In a word - nothing.
And that my friends is why ZOOVY didn't waste any of our precious development resources on that tech, instead focusing on our other initiatives which will (hopefully) be bearing some fruit this year.
I'd like to take a moment and reflect on the first time I was introduced to commerce on Facebook. I was introduced to Payvment while they were the center feature on stage at the Paypal X-Developer conference in 2009. I had to wait in line for quite a while since he was being courted by what appeared to be every Venture Capitalist at the show.
I introduced myself and gave a 30 second pitch about what Zoovy does. I told him I had lots of merchants who would love use his software - and we'd deploy it next week if he could answer two key questions I had about his business that would help me understand how to position it to my clients. The questions:
#1. Why will people shop on Facebook - instead of a website or marketplace?
#2. I get that Payvment is free - but how does Payvment plan to make money, or at least what are some possible ways to monetize this since you're giving your software away.
#1. People will shop because it's facebook basically they'll suffer through the inferior experience because it's facebook and it's cool.
#2. Payvment doesn't need to make money, VC's will just keep funding this (and he pointed at the line of guys in nice suits behind me were patiently waiting to invest in his company).
At this point I explained that while shoppers might overlook the security, they need a good experience for it be viable. Then I explained that at some point VC's appreciate a return on their investment, and the conversation that proceeded was less than useful. I pretty much wrote off the idea of Facebook commerce at that point.
I'm not discounting there might be some type of non-niche spiffy social shopping experience on facebook but I haven't seen it yet. I am also hopeful because our new web 5.0 shopping application will probably be how that social commerce experience is created.