Facebook has been making some effort to become a platform for users to shop online, having kick-started initiatives such as Facebook Shops and the Instagram Shop. Those names weren't confusing enough, though, so today there's yet another initiative launching on Facebook - Facebook Shop, which is available today in the United States.
Conceptually, Facebook Shop is most similar to the Instagram Shop, since it serves as a centralized marketplace for users to find products from their favorite companies or brands. It brings together products from multiple businesses selling on Facebook.
By contrast, Facebook Shops is the feature that allows businesses to sell their products on Facebook through their respective pages. Businesses can create customized stores, preview collections as they design them, and insights to measure their results. This initiative is also now being expanded to all eligible businesses on Facebook. Additionally, Instagram Checkout, which debuted in beta last year, is also expanding to every eligible brand and business in the United States in the next few weeks, allowing users to shop and pay directly within Instagram.
Facebook Shops also have a couple of new features. The new messaging button lets customers messages to a business to ask about a specific product, similar recommendations, and so on. It works with Messenger and Instagram Direct for now, with WhatsApp support coming soon. There's also Facebook Live Shopping, which makes it possible for businesses to set up live experiences with specific products, with links for viewers to buy it directly from the video. The feature has been in testing on Facebook and Instagram, and on Instagram Live Shopping should now be available to every business and creator in the United States.