Leonie Bulman's recent articles
Amazon deal strengthens Facebook advocacy
Amazon and Facebook have signed a deal that will see the e-commerce site utilize Facebook data for peer-driven recommendations.
Analysis shows that experts think that the deal makes Facebook’s 'like' feature more important to brands, as a product’s popularity on Facebook will link to how often it is recommended on Amazon. The Facebook 'like' button allows Facebook users to indicate that they approve of a product with one click.
However, overall sentiment towards the deal is negative due to privacy concerns. Analysed buzz shows that people are wary of information being shared between their social and commerce networks. Many do not trust Facebook with their purchasing information.
- Amazon will use data from Facebook to enhance the user’s shopping experience: Amazon will now know the preferences of Facebook users and their friends.The commerce site will be able to tell what brands and products a user has liked through Facebook. However, Amazon say that the data flow will not be both ways. Information on what you buy from Amazon will not be shared with Facebook
- The move has been seen as a further step towards social commerce: By drawing data from Facebook, Amazon is able to suggest purchases to its users, based on what their friends like. Amazon can also use the data from Facebook to keep track of friends’ birthdays, then suggest appropriate gifts for them based on what they like
- The deal links Facebook ‘likes’ and sales more closely: There is now a direct correlation between the number of likes that a product has on Facebook and the number of Amazon users that it will be suggested to. A product that is popular on Facebook will be suggested to more Amazon users
Our analysis shows that the issue of privacy has dominated discussion of the deal, with almost all experts expressing a negative opinion in this area:
- Privacy implications dominate the discussion: Many people are concerned about their likes and purchasing habits being shared more broadly. Many misinterpret the implications of the deal and are concerned that their Facebook friends will learn of their Amazon purchases. One comments that “I don’t want people knowing what I buy on Amazon”. Others do not trust Facebook’s reputation for privacy and are worried that personal details, such as payment information, could be exposed. One says that it is “inevitable” that Facebook will eventually have a “privacy screw up”
- Experts think the deal has big implications for brands: Many think that as commerce begins to employ “Facebook powered recommendations”, the value of the Facebook 'like' is enhanced. They think for “most brands and retailers” with a Facebook presence, the deal should represent a “quick and easy win”
- People are divided on how useful the Facebook functionality is: Some think that it is a “great feature” and that “now when you go shopping on Amazon, you can bring your friends with you”. Others disagree, saying that “I would not take recommendations from most of my Facebook friends, nor would I buy gifts for them”
Our analysis shows that experts are more sceptical towards the Facebook side of the deal:
- People like that Amazon is improving its shopping experience: Many praise Amazon for “making the e-commerce experience more personal and social”. However, some think that it is being invasive and do not like that it is dealing with Facebook. One says “what a huge disappointment... one of the few internet companies that I could trust... now they have hooked themselves into the absolute sewer of the net, Facebook”
- Experts do not like that Facebook is seeking to gain more user information: One comments that “I am very wary of having an entity like Facebook having access to my buying details”. Another remarks “as if Facebook wasn’t creepy enough already”