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Facebook lets more merchants add buy buttons to their posts

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Ramping up e-commerce in the News Feed

Get ready to start seeing more e-commerce when you open up Facebook. A small test of "buy" buttons in the News Feed has now expanded to include a larger group of the merchants that use the Shopify platform, TechCrunch reports. Clicking the button, which appears on merchants' posts, lets you purchase a product and complete the transaction inside the News Feed. It's an expansion of a test that Facebook began last summer. "The test will help us understand how the feature can drive sales for a wider variety of merchants," a Facebook spokesman told The Verge in an email.

Facebook's move comes a week after Pinterest announced the impending arrival of "buyable pins," which will enable people to buy stuff directly from pins when it arrives later this month. Twitter has been testing purchases within tweets since the fall, with unclear results. But Facebook commands more of our collective attention than either of those platforms, and its precision ad targeting is likely to make a buy button very attractive to marketers. In any case, more buy buttons are coming to the News Feed soon — and you just might be seeing a lot of them.

Correction, 4:25 p.m.: The TechCrunch article originally reported that all Shopify merchants were eligible to participate. Shopify wrote us to say the test includes "a variety of businesses" but refused to say how many or give a sense of how big the expansion is.