Interest Graphs And The Future Of Social Commerce
Om Malik considers how social commerce will evolve beyond group buying and 'liked' merchandise or product recommendations.
We’re very interested in the notion of social commerce, which currently seems to hold different meanings for different people, from group buying to commerce within a social network to integration of socially-influenced recommendations – where is this all going? A recent article by Om Malik on GigaOm shed some light on the potential evolution of what we collectively refer to as ‘social commerce.’ While Malik’s full piece is worth the read, we’re mulling over the key idea that the future of social commerce lies around the interaction between interest graphs and commerce, to ultimately generate transactions. To elaborate;
At its very core, the interest graph is a way to organize a social network based on people’s interests. For instance, if you’re a fan of Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan, it’s clear self-destructive Hollywood stars and their lives are what you’re interested in. The interest graphs are built through various mechanisms: by following people whom you deem as experts, through your likes and shares, etc. In the middle part of the last decade, we tried to do this through tags.
And here’s where interest graphs plus social commerce get interesting. Beyond group buying, or recommendations influenced by your friends or people you know – the interest graph can serve as the ‘engine’ for a new e-commerce experience. One that organizes and informs your shopping decisions around different categories based on the people whose taste you trust – regardless of their relationship to you. So the opportunity for interest graphs + social commerce moving forward – according to Malik;
For entrepreneurs I believe there are opportunities to create unique experiences around the concept of “interest graphs” that can be built off the backs of uber-networks such as Facebook and Twitter. These networks can help find the right kind of audience to build a viable channel for new commerce experience.
We also believe this represents a particular opportunity for those that are currently cultivating their role and influence as ‘curators’ in particular areas – whether they are brands, individuals, or – gasp – media properties. We’re keeping an eye on this evolving social commerce landscape.