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Facebook Plans Social Shopping Platform

Facebook Pivots To Privacy, Social Shopping

After a series of scandals involving privacy violations, allegations of fake news and the discovery that its employees had access to millions of passwords, Facebook said it was going to shift its business toward privacy protection.

Now, with the F8 developer conference kicking off on Tuesday (April 30), Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has divulged a little more on what that might look like, according to a report by CNBC.

“I’ll share a little bit more at F8 next week in terms of the product road map and what we expect to see on this,” Zuckerberg said on the company’s Q1 earnings call.

F8 is Facebook’s platform for announcing new initiatives, directions and products. For example, last year it announced that the Oculus Go VR Headset was going on sale. Still in the works is a feature called Clear History, which the company claims will erase all of the data Facebook has on someone.

The F8 conference schedule shows numerous sessions focused on Messenger. One is called “Deep Dive on Messenger Updates.” Another, called “Using Messenger to Drive Business Results,” is being held by two of the company’s software engineers, Liron Wand, head of partnerships for Messenger, and Mohit Rajani, lead product manager for Messenger monetization.

However, the company will need to continue to bring in revenue, and shifting away from its ad selling and data collecting would seem to be at odds with that necessity.

One strategy the company is considering is connecting people with companies directly through Messenger, allowing for a sort of social shopping platform. People would be able to buy from companies that pay Facebook for advertising.

“The goal would be to have something where you can do discovery through the broader town square-like platforms in Instagram and Facebook,” Zuckerberg said. “And then, you can complete the transactions and follow up with businesses individually and have an ongoing relationship through Messenger and WhatsApp. And this is one of the things, I think, [that] will create a lot of value for people discovering and interacting with businesses.”

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