Facebook to add e-commerce module

Ben Ling, Director of Platform Product Marketing at Facebook, today shared the roadmap of how e-commerce will be enabled on the site.

Currently there are two ways to advertise products, but that’s all about to change with the launch of a new application enabling real e-commerce. Facebook already have the Gifts application, which allows users to send personalized messages with icons to their Facebook friends.

The cost to send a virtual gift (in reality an electronic item of no tangible value) is $1.00. Facebook plan a similar application where real products can be purchased.

They already have a credit card facility to collect payments, but will be implementing a new payment processor when the application goes live.

There are no indications on which payment processor will be used, options could include PayPal, Microsoft, Google Checkout and Amazon, two of which already have ties with Facebook. Previously Ben Ling was a product management director for Google and oversaw the launch of Google Checkout. Microsoft are a significant investor in the Facebook platform.

With the active Facebook developer network it is likely that once the first application is enabled many more will rapidly follow.

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