Facebook Hopes To Increase Engagement With 'Save' Bookmark Feature
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) hopes that it can increase engagement among its 1.2 billion users by allowing them to save content for a later date.
The social networking giant has made several announcements this month, starting with Mentions and a Buy button. Now the company has unveiled a save feature that keeps track of important links, movies, TV shows, music and more.
"The Save button is more of a tool to get [engagement] higher," Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia told Benzinga. "The Buy button, I think, the attempt there is twofold. The initial thought is that it will make it easier for advertisers or marketers on the platform to convert. I think it's more with that in mind than a big focus on e-commerce themselves. They'll eventually get a cut if it's big enough.
"For now, the Buy button is really to make it seamless to buy something that you're seeing. It's more of an advertising tool."
"I think those are all positives," said Bhatia. "It just shows that Facebook continues to test different things. As large as they are, they gotta keep running as fast as they can. We like them. We like the changes."
Facebook is testing out a lot of features this month, but the overall number is far less important than investors may realize.
"It's more about the ones that make a difference," said Bhatia. "I think what they're trying to do is test a number of things and see what really matters. From a product standpoint, they came out with Slingshot, and that doesn't seem to have gotten much traction, right? They did Paper, which is in the early days. They did other things that have not been successful. So I think it's in the spirit of trying to come up with different things and test different things and ultimately roll out the ones that makes a difference."
Bhatia said that he does not expect all of the newly announced features to stick around.
"But it's good to see them trying different things," he said.
Facebook Internet Explorer? Not Quite
Facebook's save feature isn't unlike those that are packaged inside of a browser. It does come with an added bonus though: Users will be able to quickly access their saved content from any device. Browsers have attempted to do the same, but Facebook's design could prove to be much more effective.
Thus, Facebook might look a little more like a browser, but that doesn't mean the company will design one.
"I think at this point they've got so much other low-hanging fruit that those are possible long-term areas that they might address, but not in the next two to three years," Bhatia concluded.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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