In addition to product pricing, Stipple also offers multimedia
and social features, but the big news here is an alternative means
to drive purchases and commerce on Facebook, after what seemed to
be a setback earlier this week.
Today's launch partners include a number of brands, such as
People magazine, Sony Pictures,
The Washington Post, Dr. Oz, Associated Press Images, Karmaloop and
TLC Network, among others.
The idea of image-based commerce is certainly an attractive one,
given the rise of sites such as Pinterest, SVpply and The Fancy,
which have spawned their own ecosystems of startups trying to
bridge the gap between images posted to those services and their
sources -- the merchants and retailers -- and facilitate seamless
shopping through them. For example, Canadian startup HOVR.IT employs
image-recognition technology and a Chrome extension to try to
bridge that gap.
The ultimate goal, of course, is bringing image-based commerce
to the Facebook feed and its 1 billion-plus users -- not in a
storefront, not hidden away, not through redeemable offers, but
right there in the feed -- and the images which comprise it.
Stipple debuted this functionality
in Twitter's expanded tweets and media cards late last year, and
the Facebook integration will be similar. On Twitter and Facebook,
users can hover over products to access real-time pricing that is
automatically updated as the merchant updates the pricing at the
source. However, users will need to click through to the retailer's
site to complete the actual transaction. This can be seen as a
barrier, but it also means we're just one step away from shopping
directly in the Facebook feed without the need to ever leave it --
and that's big.
According to Techcrunch,
companies such as Nordstrom, Nike, and L'Oreal have already been using
Stipple's technology in its images, and today's launch of the
Facebook integration revives hope for these brands and others, that
the true potential of e-commerce hasn't died this week, rather, it
has been reincarnated and is only just beginning to surface in a