Social Shopping (F-Commerce) Made Simple With Graphite from 8thBridge

Facebook commerce, or F-commerce if you’re so inclined, was touted as the next big thing…then almost as quickly, proclaimed to be a failure (with a capital “F”). Apparently, people did not like the idea of shopping where they liked to hang out and socialize; the latter article above says it’s about ‘mentality’ – if you’re hanging out at a bar after work, you’re not there to shop…you’re there to hang out and enjoy your friends.

While this roll-out might have been a failure, it’s too early (only two years since) to proclaim success or failure with anything. The truth is, as Facebook nears a billion users worldwide, that’s just too juicy a number to ignore. What 8thBridge has done is create a system called ‘Graphite’ that brings the stores to the people, not the other way around, but do it without creating another cluttered interface full of icons, ads, and other things that will go ignored. They make it seamless, easy to use, and most importantly, make it sharable. 8thBridge recognized the simple fact that people on Facebook are there to express themselves and feel important.

To that end, Graphite brings three key, core elements to Facebook marketing, including:

  • Social Expressions. Expanding on the “Like” function by making it into “Want,” “Love,” “Neeed” (yes, with three E’s), and so forth, it brings the ability to express wishlists and sharing, which itself drives socializing; one person clicks “Want,” another picks “Wishlist,” a third selects “Love,” and each of them share this with their worlds, which leads to more shares, and so on. In effect, it becomes a snowball of unstoppable marketing.
  • Shoppable Stories. When a person shares that they want something, this shows in their news feed, the ticker, and timeline. It creates a shoppable store directly in the Facebook window so the user does not have to leave Facebook, or even significantly change their environment. 8thBridge has stated that customers are 18 times more interactive in this environment than when faced with clicking on a hyperlink – which translates to big business.
  • Interest Graph API. This is Facebook’s own app that Graphite interacts with to bring it all together and automate the experience. For instance, if a customer “Wants” a dress, when that dress goes on sale, the program can generate a message to the user in Facebook to make them the offer.

8thBridge has designed Graphite so that any business utilizing it can easily go in and make changes to the interface however they want. This includes generating reports that show how many shares they’ve gotten, what buttons are more effective than others, traffic measuring, and so forth.

For an excellent visual of the concept, check out 8thBridge’s Graphite Launch presentation here. If you don’t have an entire hour to watch the presentation, which is actually very interesting all the way through, fast forward it to 16:35 and watch for two minutes; this will give you a really good idea of what a monster this could become.

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About Michael Eckenfels

Michael is a writer and instructional designer, having worked in both fields for over a decade. He has had extensive corporate and freelance experience with a variety of business fields, including oil and gas, finance, health care, entertainment, and computer software. Michael is also an actor, having been in a wide variety of stage, series, and films over the last three years.

  • Mike Jones

    Very good post