It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Do Not Want: Facebook Testing ‘Want’ Button

Stop it right now, young man.
do not want dog 1 Do Not Want: Facebook Testing Want Button

(Photo: Know Your Meme)

We don’t know how to quit you, Facebook. But this latest move sure is making it difficult.

Inside Facebook reports that the company is testing a plug-in for a “Want” button. Like the “Like” button, a “Want” button would allow Facebook to collect scads upon scads of “desire-based data,” about individuals consumers as an omniscient advertising tool.

Facebook isn’t publicly listing it among the social plugins on its developer site, but Tom Waddington from Cut Out + Keep noticed that it had been added to the Facebook Javascript SDK as an XFBML tag – <fb:wants>.

According to Mr. Waddington, the button only works on Open Graph objects that have been marked as “products,” so at least the entire Internet won’t governed by aspirational-buying impulses enabled by sites like Pinterest and The Fancy, where Mark Zuckerberg recently started an account.

A Want button plugin will make it easy for e-commerce and other sites to implement this type of Facebook functionality without having to build their own apps. Many of these sites are already using the Like button, but Liking a product could mean users already have it or that they are interested in getting it. Being able to distinguish between these groups of people and target ads to either one could be very powerful for advertisers and help make Facebook a stronger competitor to Google AdWords.

What can we say? Every generation gets the button it deserves.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com