‘Like’ the new Facebook ‘Want’ button

Boasting more than 900 million members worldwide, social media giant Facebook has reportedly created a new “Want” button that is substantially similar to the existing “Like” button that so many of us click on so often.

Inside Facebook reported Thursday that developer Tom Waddington from Cut Out + Keep discovered the “Want” button while searching through Facebook’s Javascript SDK.

While the “Want” button is not publicly listed among the social plugins on the Facebook developer site, Waddington indicated that it works on Open Graph objects that have been marked as “products.”

The new “Want” button would express a desire by the Facebook user to purchase a particular product or service.

One of the most popular aspects of the Facebook social network is the ability to “like” with the click of a button things on the site, such as other users’ status updates, comments or photos.

Many users already “like” brands, products or pages, but the introduction of a “Want” button would allow them to actively show their desire to purchase a particular product or service.

According to Inside Facebook, a “Want” button would allow Facebook to collect a massive amount of “desire-based” data on its users’ particular interests. This information could then be used in its battle with Google for online advertising revenue.

Millions of e-commerce and commercial websites already integrate the Facebook “Like” button on their websites. By itself, this does not prove whether users’ specifically want a particular product, or already have it.

With the “Want” button, Facebook is seeking more.

“Being able to distinguish between these groups of people and target ads to either one could be very powerful for advertisers and help make Facebook a stronger competitor to Google AdWords, stated Inside Facebook.

While the “Want” button is currently disabled on Facebook, Waddington claimed that he was able to implement the button on his own site — although anyone clicking it simply receives an error message.

When contacted early Friday afternoon, Facebook’s official response was: “We’re always testing new Platform features, however we have nothing new to announce.”

Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.

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