It's been nearly four years since retailers took down their Facebook shop-in-shops, but the social networking giant hasn't given up its ambitions of becoming the web's mall just yet.
On Monday, Facebook outlined recent efforts to make its mobile apps more shoppable, spanning new advertising formats it's testing (including the inclusion of "Buy" buttons, also seen on Instagram, and a "Canvas" format that allows users to explore a catalog of products before going to a retailer's website to buy), a "Shop" section on retailers' Facebook Pages and, most notably, a dedicated "Shopping" feed.
Right now, most Facebook users discover products on their main News Feed; they might also come across them on brand Pages and in Groups. The Shopping feed, which is being tested with a "limited set" of small US businesses for now, would eventually allow users to see products all in one place, including products listed on Pages and in Facebook Groups.
No doubt about it, retailers will want to be there, but will Facebook users want to leave their feed of funny animal videos and wedding pics for one dedicated to product placements? That's the harder sell.