Chirpify opens up Facebook's News Feed for business

Users can now make purchases on the site directly from the News Feed

Facebook's News Feed is a popular landing page for photos and updates from friends, but now it can also function as a digital storefront of sorts, through a partnership with e-commerce startup Chirpify.

People on the social network can now make purchases without leaving the site by commenting on listings from brands and merchants that appear in the News Feed.

The one-step checkout process is designed to provide "frictionless commerce," according to Chirpify, which is based in Portland, Oregon. Adidas, the Portland Trailblazers, the bands Owl City and Neon Trees, and the record label Victory Records are some of the service's initial partners. The company also supports person-to-person payments and donations to nonprofits and political campaigns.

Here's how it works: Consumers or businesses first must create an account with Chirpify using a major credit card or PayPal. It's free to join and use, but Chirpify takes a 5 percent fee from the merchant for each transaction.

Consumers will only see product listings or offers from groups that they already have liked, or that friends have shared with them.

Then, when Chirpify consumer members want to buy something, donate a set amount of money or enter a giveaway on Facebook, all they have to do is comment to the News Feed listing with the word "buy," "donate" or "gimme."

Brands can list both digital and physical items for sale using the platform. A secure download of content, or a receipt for a product, is sent via email after each purchase. Promotional codes, giveaway drawings and integration into merchants' existing e-commerce platforms are also built into Chirpify.

The social commerce platform is not based on a formal partnership between Facebook and Chirpify, though the social network "is supportive of what we are doing," said Sarah Schroeder, Chirpify's account manager. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook already offers its own integrated e-commerce platform, called Gifts.

Chirpify's services have been available to Twitter and Instagram users for the past year, but its expansion to Facebook makes it the only in-stream, social commerce platform enabling businesses to list and distribute their products across the three major social media sites, said Chirpify CEO Chris Teso.

There are other players in the growing e-commerce space within social networks. American Express, for example, launched a new service last month specifically on Twitter to let card holders make purchases through tweets.

Separate from Chirpify, Facebook also offers the "Facebook Card," a new physical gift card that people can use to make purchases in brick-and-mortar stores.

But Chirpify's e-commerce services could be a sensitive issue for Facebook users. The News Feed has been criticized by some users for emphasizing advertisements and not displaying updates from certain friends. Facebook recently addressed some of these concerns by rolling out new customization features and visual enhancements to the News Feed.

But Chirpify describes its service as social commerce, as opposed to social ads, and stresses that its listings come either from brands people already like or from their friends.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooktwittersocial networkinge-commercepaypalInternet-based applications and servicesHootSuiteAdidasInstagramChirpify

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?