Be afraid; be very afraid as Facebook launches a group-buying prototype. No, it won’t be a service that allows you to purchase real things like a gadget or a book in bulk so you get a discounted price, it’s a service that allows a group of people to purchase virtual goods. It’s only a prototype so far, Facebook is testing the new feature, called “Buy With Friends” which allows users to get discount on virtual goods purchased by friends.
Once someone buys some virtual credit using Facebook’s very own currency system, Facebook Credits, he can share it on his newsfeed. His friends can therefore see the purchase and buy the same item at a discount directly from the newsfeed. This feature will currently work for limited in-came purchases of virtual goods and the developers will be the ones to determine the items and terms of the promotion. Alright I have to admit, it’s a smart move, but until Facebook expands it to a service that allow users to purchase something real, something tangible, I’m not quite so excited yet. According to the team, this feature could be expanded to include physical goods, encouraging retailers to set up shops on Facebook.