Facebook is keen on seeing established industries get re-built with a social networking foundation, holding up the success of game-maker Zynga as the standard template.
So it’s not surprising that a former Facebook employee is behind a new effort to “socialize” e-commerce.
Copious, which launches in beta on Wednesday, aims to create a marketplace that makes heavy use of a person’s network of friends and acquaintances. Buyers and sellers use their real identities, logging on to the marketplace through Facebook Connect, so users can have more trust in the people they transact with, the company says.
Jonathan Ehrlich, who until a few months ago worked as head of marketing at Facebook, said Copious analyzes Facebook users’ public profile as well as the items they have previously “liked” to pitch them merchandise for sale that matches their interests.
Sellers, which can include both retailers such as eBags and individuals selling goods, can juice their marketing efforts by tapping into a customer’s network, offering discounts to users who “share” sale listings with their network of friends or who agree to “follow” a seller.