July 28, 2010, 1:23 PM

Amazon friends Facebook

The retailer is using the social networking site to serve up product recommendations.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Amazon.com Inc. has launched a beta program that allows consumers to log in to their Facebook profiles through Amazon.com in order to receive personalized recommendations for movies, music and books based on their Facebook profiles.

When a consumer logs in to his Facebook account through Amazon.com he agrees to send Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, information about himself, his friends, as well as the products that he and his friends have noted that they like on the social networking site.

After logging in to his Facebook account through Amazon, he is presented with a Your Amazon Facebook page, which features the Facebook profile picture of his friends who have upcoming birthdays, as well as a “See gift suggestions” link for each friend. The link leads to a page offering gift suggestions based on his friend’s favorite music on Facebook and, when it exists, their Amazon wish list.

The Amazon Facebook page also includes movie, book and music titles that are popular among the consumer’s friends, as well as suggestions based on his Facebook profile.

Amazon says it will not share the user’s information, including his account activity, with Facebook—nor will it attempt to contact any of the user’s Facebook friends. The world’s largest online retailer also says it won’t post anything on a user’s Facebook Wall without the user’s consent. And, if a consumer disconnects Facebook from Amazon, the retailer says it deletes any data that was transferred.

The feature marks Amazon’s first foray into the world of social media integration although it has long featured social elements, such as customer reviews, says an Amazon spokeswoman. "We are continually working on behalf of our customers to improve the personalized recommendations experience on Amazon," she says.

However, unlike retailers such as Levi’s and evo that have integrated Facebook’s Like button throughout their product and category pages, Amazon is keeping its communications with Facebook one way. Adding a Like button requires a retailer to send information back to Facebook about the products that consumers like.

Comments | 1 Response

  • Amazon has for long had its own social features (such as reviews) but this new move signals a strategic recognition of Facebook, and the importance of social commerce, which signifies implications for the entire ecommerce sector. There have been calls for some time now for tighter integration between Facebook and ecommerce sites but despite more than 100 million fans using Facebook Login, the ecommerce sector has been slow to adopt it. According to Facebook, three times more visitors will login to their Facebook account on an ecommerce site, than would create an account / register. Visitors don’t like creating accounts everywhere - they forget their login details and are reluctant to share personal details unless they trust the site. In the last few months we’ve seen a growing appetite from the ecommerce sector to look afresh at social media integration. Facebook Like has been a runaway success, with almost 70% of emarketers planning to, or having already implemented it on their ecommerce sites. In addition, one third of emarketers plan to, or have already, implemented Facebook Login. There’s a great blog on this with a tease preview of what Your Amazon Facebook page will look like here.

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