Twitter to End “Buy” Button and Facebook to Shutter FBX

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

social-media-marketing-conceptMost talk of about changes to social media networks involve the launch of new products and new feature. However, recent reports about the world largest social media networks have been about features that are going to be removed. Facebook has announced the sunset of the FBX desktop targeting tool. And according to unconfirmed reports, Twitter may soon be disbanding the “Buy” button.

To start with the bad (or worse) news for business owners and marketers, a report from Buzzfeed suggests that Twitter is disbanding their commerce team. This may not mean much to the average Twitter user, but the loss of the commerce team means that production on the “Buy” button on Twitter is coming to a close.

The Twitter “Buy” button, which was discussed in a previous article on this site, was an attempt by Twitter to make it easier for business owners to monetize their social networks. However, despite the good intentions, the plan was under utilized.

According to Buzzfeed, Twitter’s decision is less about the failure of Twitter to succeed as it is about the slow progress, so far, of social commerce. The once, much-hyped push, by social media companies to enable the sale of products directly within their platforms has met with a tepid reception.

“People are not buying on social media right now. They are still buying, for the most part, on mobile web,” a source familiar with Twitter’s commerce team’s inner workings told BuzzFeed News. “There’s still an active ‘Buy Now’ card at Twitter, but no one’s putting any work into it. There’s no new product development happening.”

On the other end of the spectrum, Facebook has is shutting down its desktop advertising tool. Facebook’s retargeting service began in 2012 and has been very useful to the company in its time. However, with the introduction of newer, more effective advertising products and targeting tools, FBX is no longer needed as much as in the past.

“Mobile is now a necessary component of effective marketing campaigns, and Facebook is helping millions of businesses understand their customers’ purchase path across devices,” said Matt Idema, VP of monetization product marketing at Facebook, in a statement, according to AdAge. “Dynamic Ads and Custom Audiences have mobile at their core and are delivering excellent results for businesses, so Facebook Exchange spending has shifted towards those solutions.”

The service has been seeing decline in recent months. For example, Facebook reduced the number of partners with on FBX from 15 to 12. Even so, the partner companies that have remained with FBX continue to find value in using Facebook to retarget ads to members of their target audience who have visited the sites of their clients.

“FBX has been a very successful platform for us, and over the past year, as we have seen consumers increasingly move to purchase and browse on mobile devices, Dynamic Ads have increased to become a more significant part of our mix” over the past year, said Eric Eichmann, CEO of Criteo in a statement — adding that 5,000 of Criteo’s customers are already using Dynamic Ads.

The end of FBX won’t come immediately. Facebook has yet to officially schedule a sunset date. Citing unnamed sources, AdExchanger reported FBX will shutter on November 1, 2016. As questions arise about Facebook sealing access to its platform, Facebook is stressing the openness of the Facebook Ads API. “Our ads API is open to all developers so they can innovate on our platform and build great ad experiences for brands and their customers,” said Idema.

The good news for marketers who have used FBX is that Facebook has a lot of ad products that can help business owners serve relevant ads to their target audience. And while Twitter may retire the “Buy” button soon, the company’s need to please shareholders will lead to them to create new ways to help business make money through the social network.

For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article on new Facebook rules regarding branded content.

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