Facebook is taking on Amazon and eBay with its new 'Shops' feature. The risks to its reputation are greater than ever.

published 19.05.2020 19:12

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By facilitating sales of random products by unvetted businesses, Facebook is at risk of being facing all-new types of scandals — being complicit in the distribution of dodgy, dangerous, or illegal goods — unless it takes a far more proactive approach to moderation.

The new feature may help to diversify Facebook's business and lessen its reliance on advertising revenues, at a time of immense economic instability and a cratering in online ad spend — while also helping Facebook to capitalize in the sudden boom in online shopping driven by coronavirus lockdowns.

On Tuesday, the Silicon Valley-headquartered social networking giant announced Facebook Shops — a new feature for Facebook and Instagram that will allow businesses to create digital storefronts and list catalogs for products for sale through the social network.

Facebook is adding shops to its social network where businesses can sell goods to users.

In an interview with Business Insider ahead of the launch, Dan Levy, Facebook's VP of ads and business platform, said Facebook was taking moderation of the Facebook Shops very seriously.