Hot Stock Minute

E-commerce in social media is "inevitable"

Would you buy something from clicking an ad your Facebook (FB) feed? What about making a purchase directly from an ad that flew by on Twitter (TWTR)? Both companies hope you will and are taking steps to make e-commerce an integral part of their social media ecosystems.

Facebook said on Thursday that it’s testing a "Buy" button so users can purchase items right from ads and Page posts in their news feeds. The service is being tested on a few small or medium-sized businesses. Also yesterday, Twitter bought CardSpring that allows users to redeem discounts and coupons in tweets.

The companies have been working on features that allow users to make purchases on their social networks for some time. Facebook previously said it was working on embedding buttons in its ads for users to make purchases. Twitter already has a service that allows users to add items to their Amazon shopping cart by using hashtags. And last month, Recode reported that a “Buy now” button appeared in several tweets, but then disappeared.

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said it was inevitable that these companies would eventually introduce one-click buying. “I do think this is the absolute natural progression of how these companies have to run themselves,” he said. Santoli said it’s an especially natural transition for Twitter. It’s a small leap from the native ad format with which they’ve been experimenting to making a transaction, he said.

Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke, who is long on Facebook, says these buttons provide a reason for the ads that already appear on the social network. “Because you're actually selling something directly, and that makes all kinds of sense.”

“So, it’s inevitable,” he said. “Now it’s about execution."

We want to know what you think. Would you use e-commerce features on Facebook and Twitter? Vote in our poll, or leave us a comment below or on Twitter.

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