(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) is launching Shops, a service that will allow businesses to display and sell products on the world’s largest social network’s platforms, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Tuesday.
The move to build up e-commerce offerings follows Facebook’s launch last year of limited shopping options on photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging app WhatsApp.
Facebook Shops will tie at least some of those efforts together, enabling businesses to set up a single online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature will enable in-app purchases.
As with Facebook’s other e-commerce features Shops will be free for businesses to access, with the expectation that the tool will boost consumer engagement and ad sales.
“Our business model here is ads,” Zuckerberg said in a livestreamed video announcing the product.
“So rather than charge businesses for shops, we know that shops are valuable for businesses. They’re going to in general bid more for ads and we’ll eventually make money that way.”
Facebook is also rolling out a tool to connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to make purchases directly while watching.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang