PayPal has announced a new service they are calling Shoptimist. Essentially it sounds like Groupon meets social, an opportunity that frankly has been sitting there waiting for someone to take hold of it.
The gig is you decided to participate in a deal and you try to get your friends to join in, and when enough people join in the deal gets better and better (theoretically). Looks like there are some bugs going on but its new so I’ll give them a pass.
What’s exciting about this is the implications inherent with social and commerce coming together. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it, SOCIAL COMMERCE IS GOING TO BE MASSIVE. Huge. When Amazon and Facebook decide to forge a strong partnership, more than that crappy little integration they’ve put together now, the dollars are going to start flowing. And maybe PayPal will be the glue that helps that happen.
VC Bo Peabody recently wrote an article for Business Insider entitled, “Facebook and Twitter will always be crappy businesses”. And most of his points are in line with what I think, which is essentially that advertising on social networks is not a very good long term strategy for creating profitable, sustainable revenue. It’s just not.
But where Bo misses the big “aha” is where commerce becomes a major part of Facebook’s (and maybe Twitter’s) business. When Facebook starts getting a small take on every purchase made within and around its platform, their revenue will swoon. 500+ million people, all of which most likely buy products and services online, are you kidding me?
I’ve been talking for a while about my assertion that the future of media is Us. We. The people. We’re essentially already there. We find out about things to buy more and more from our friends and less and less from “advertising”. And social networks are a massive conduit to that form of advocacy. The only difference right now is that We aren’t getting compensated for that advocacy. One day we will, count on it.
So without diving too deep on this, let me just say that I love what PayPal is trying to do with Shoptimist. Plan on seeing more of these types of integrations going forward.
Thanks to my sister @kellyhilimire, for alerting me this morning about Shoptimist.