Facebook recently began testing a new feature called “Collections” which allows retailers to add “Collect” or “Want” buttons to their news feed posts about products.  Facebook is currently testing this feature with only seven retailers who are allowed to create Collections posts – Neiman Marcus (example here), Pottery Barn, Smith Optics, Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, Wayfair, and Fab.com.

According to TechCrunch, users can save and share products to a “Wishlist” on their profile by clicking one of these buttons.  Once added to the user’s Wishlist, a “Buy” button appears which, when clicked, allows purchases to be made offsite.

The ability to interact with Collections has been rolled out to 100% of Facebook users, and, according to Facebook, there are several different versions of Collections buttons being tested.  Fans of the seven test partners can see in their news feeds one of three button designs on photos posted from these Pages:

  • “Want” button – adds the product to a section in the user’s Timeline called “Wishlist” which is visible to friends of friends.
  • “Collect” button – save the product to a Collection called “Products” which only friends can see.
  • “Like button – also adds to “Products,” but is visible by friends of friends.

Facebook is showing each button to one-third of its users at a time.  They are also collecting data on which style of button generates more interaction.  According to Facebook, users “will be able to engage with these collections and share things they are interested in with their friends. People can click through and buy these items off of Facebook.”

Collections posts are free to use for the retailers, but they are only visible to their Page’s fans.  Facebook users browsing the pages of these test partners will not be able to see the Collections posts unless they first click “Like” and become a fan.

Though Facebook says its Collections feature is unrelated to Pinterest, it could be a competitor.  If users spend most of their time interacting with friends and family on Facebook and can now Collect and share products there, they just may have less of a need to interact on Pinterest.

What do you think?  Would the ability to Collect and share products on Facebook replace your need for interacting on Pinterest?