Facebook testing a way to buy things straight from the News Feed, Pages

Facebook's money flow

Facebook is testing a new feature that lets you buy items directly from businesses without ever leaving the social network's web.

The test gets off the ground today, letting people purchase goods through a "Buy" button on News Feed ads and Page posts.

As shown in a mock-up, suggested or sponsored posts look exactly the same save for the attention-grabbing Buy button located under the item's image.

Users will find the option to buy available on both desktop and mobile versions of Facebook.

Facebook Buy

Money, money, money

Those concerned about privacy need not worry, Facebook said, as it's "taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure."

No credit or debit card info shared with Facebook will leave hands to other advertisers and users will have the choice of whether to save payment details for future purchases or not.

The test is small - it's limited to a few small and medium-sized businesses in the US, though more information, presumably on a greater rollout, is due once Facebook gathers feedback.

Facebook has a historical problem making money for others, so the hope behind the new feature is to help businesses drive sales. If it works, this will presumably lead to more businesses using Facebook for more than just status updates, thus creating a circle of mutual benefit and happiness all around.

Of course, much depends on users and if they feel the Buy button is an advertiser intrusion or a useful purchasing tool, and only time can tell if either is the case.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.