By Amanda Moss

In 2004 Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg and a few of his Harvard University roommates. Its purpose was to connect friends and family through a social networking site. Overnight Facebook became a phenomenon; everyone over the age of thirteen could create an account. Within two years, the world was infatuated with Facebook and  people on all seven continents were sharing pictures and comments.  Fast forward to 2016, Facebook recorded an average of 1.86 billion monthly active users. Net income was rising above ten billion, and total assets soared over 60 billion. Today, Facebook is used for a multitude of activities; sharing photos, videos, news, and communicating with Messenger are a few examples. Facebook continues to increase its functions, creating not only a social media networking site, but a brand name that is known world-wide.

Some may think: will Facebook users begin to lose interest?  What more can Facebook possibly accomplish? What’s the next update for Facebook?  It should come as no surprise; Facebook already has the answer.  It is expanding its services to create a platform to support online businesses.  By serving individuals’ personal needs, as well as companies’ corporate needs, user participant numbers will increase. In 2017 Facebook was named one of the top e-commerce sites in the world. Recently, companies were given the ability to open an online “Facebook store”. This allows businesses to sell their products to a larger active market, and helps them join the global e-commerce community.

In March of 2017, Facebook collaborated with Ecwid, Shopify, and other e-commerce platforms that enable individuals and businesses to create online stores or add them to existing websites (ECWID.com). Now, Facebook users can buy and sell products through the Facebook Store tab. “The store application allows you to create a store in a few clicks on Facebook, increasing your sales through Facebook” (Facebook.com). The idea is that businesses will import their shop onto a Facebook page, creating brand awareness and an online reputation, just as an individual does with their personal page. The new feature allows companies to adjust their advertisements with the use of templates, and the ability to target a particular audience.  

Within the past month Facebook has synchronized with over 377,500 stores helping to increase sales by 15% (Shopify Inc). The Facebook Store App, is connected with already existing e-commerce sites; therefore, there is no need to worry about hosting or transaction fees(Ewic.com). Each store will be hosted by secure Amazon servers, which allows the Facebook store to sync with marketplaces like Amazon, ebay, and Google. The servers handle all upgrades, security and server configurations, making the process and upkeep comfortable for the user. (Ecwid.com) In addition, Facebook has stated that they will never take a percentage of what you earn from your Facebook Store page (Facebook.com).

The Facebook Store App also allows customers to complete their transaction inside Facebook. Specifically, the Ecwid connection allows the app to reside on a Facebook page, so that customers can shop and pay without leaving the site. In the past, customers shopping on Facebook would click on an ad, be transferred to another site, and pursue their shopping and transactions on the company’s store site. With this change, the customer’s shopping experience takes place on one site. This changes the shopping process as it becomes simplistic and appealing, making consumers more likely to buy.

Facebook’s jump into the business world has raised their stock price and credibility within financial markets. Author Brian Stoffel, from The Motley Fool News, claims investors should purchase Facebook stock and never sell. He justifies his statement by highlighting their ability to grow on a daily basis, their competitive advantage amongst other networking sites, and their large amount of cash assets. Ultimately, Facebook’s ability to adjust in a fluctuation market, relentlessly producing new ideas has made it the world’s most prominent social networking site.

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