The Buy-Button

Social media sites are making it very easy for social commerce to rapidly increase. Social commerce simply means that social media sites assist e-commerce. Online buying can now be done through social media sites. How would like it if you could immediately buy that beautiful stool you saw on Pinterest this morning?


In June, Pinterest’s rival: Instagram, announced that they will soon create a buy button as well. They will name it the “shop now” button. Snapchat, Tinder, and Google are also looking to expand to a buy button.

Personally, I would buy lots of things through Pinterest. Pinterest was made to create different boards of things you want, so I would guess that the majority of people will buy things on Pinterest. A new type of shopping addiction could even arise: a pin & buy addiction!

Despite Pinterest’s potential success, I question the success of a buy button on Snapchat, Tinder & Google. They would have to rely on selling items of advertisements and the goal of these social media platforms was never to create lists of things you want.

Would you buy something through social media websites?

Another question that arises is potential rivalry between social media sites and e-commerce sites like and What’s more attractive for brands than advertising their products on highly engaged social media websites? Could this potentially decrease sales for e-commerce websites? It could, but it could also establish new partnerships. For example, Pinterest can agree to use a “buy at Amazon” button, where everything Pinterest posts will be available on Amazon. This does mean that Amazon’s inventory would have to increase enormously…


The pro’s and con’s of the buy-button raise so many different questions. I’m interested to see what you guys think! Would you want a buy-button on your favorite social media website?

Sources: “Battle of the buy buttons: What does the social commerce hybrid mean for retail brands?” by Katie McQuater

“Can Pinterest, Instagram Succeed at ‘Social Commerce'”? by Tom Risen


19 thoughts on “The Buy-Button

  1. Yes, I would. But on the other hand, I’m afraid I would spend so much money this way that I don’t have that much left for street shopping, which is a pity.

    • Please NO. It is a nightmare to buy through a buy-button. ‘Impuls bying, so called’. Where are the romantic days of having a glass of wine between your shopping?

  2. No definitely not! I think its alarming that people will be enabled to buy EVERYTHING they see. In my opinion, if you really like something on Pinterest, you should go and look for it on the internet and in shops. The ability not to be able to buy it immediately forces you to consider if you really want it. I think a “Buy button” on social media will result in lots of impulsive purchases. Good for companies (unless people start sending lots of items back), not for our wallet.

  3. I think it is an interesting concept that can benefit both the firms themselves and the consumers. The buy-button complements Pinterest well and It will likely generate a lot of sales, particularly from impulse buyers. Personally, I don’t use Pinterest or instagram so I am unlikely to use the buy-button in the near future. With that in mind, I still think there is a huge marker for these transactions.
    If Pinterest are successful with this strategy and other social media websites such as Facebook adopt it I can see myself using it too. I’m sure many people are familiar with the ‘Commodity Market Rotterdam’ Facebook group where you can buy second hand items from other users. It could be possible to see other pages, perhaps from firms as opposed to users, which list their items with an option to buy directly. Companies such as Nike or Adidas that have over 20 million facebook followers(likes) could hugely benefit from this as they would essentially have instant access to potential customers. Some issues would arise such as what commision should Facebook(or any other social media website) receive, shipping logistics and potential damage to the brand image.
    I think the buy-button is a good idea but it could create a snowball effect where every social media platform decides to add a buy-button which would reduce the overall experience for the users.

  4. For sure it’s a good idea. Referring to Instagram it could work for sure. Especially when you look at all those street-fashion accounts. Through this way they could also advert their new products and somehow attract people to immediately buy them instead of only like or comment under the picture. On the other hand if anyone could apply this, it’s going to be a chaos. In order to introduce something like on Instagram, maybe Instagram should handle an entry barrier to use such a buy-button. The entry-barrier could be a minimum of followers or other criteria such as an existing shop with a certain amount of revenue a month.

  5. Yes I would like a buy button. Many times when I see a product on Pinterest, I am not able to find any shop where I could find the specific product. Plus, nowadays there are many unreliable websites. The buy button could create an option when you click on the button you are redirected to a reliable website.

  6. I would really like a buy-button. I think that a Buy-Button would be beneficial for the companies and the customers. It will probably increase their sales, because with the buy-button customers will probably buy things faster. So the buy-button is very efficient for both the customers and the companies.

    I do agree with ”386689ls” that a buy buttom will probably lead to impulsive purchases. Sometimes when I want to buy new shoes on a website, I click on every nice shoes and put them in my ”Online shopping cart”. But after doing that I sometimes think, do I really need those shoes? After having those thoughts I’d always delete them from the shopping cart. (That stool looks very pretty but do I really need one?)

    But with the easy and quick buy-button, people will probably buy stuff very quickly and they might regret the stuff that they have bought. This is ofcourse very beneficial for the companies with the buy-button, but also very disadvantageously for my bank account.

  7. I personally think that a buy button would not be a good idea. It would take the thrill out of shopping since obtaining products would literally be one click away. Even though it is much simpler and may increase revenue for certain businesses, it is not good for the customer because the excitement is gone. Also, if it were to exist in almost all applications and websites, I don’t think I would have much money left over… However, if applications like Snapchat and Tinder do create the option of a buy button, I’m curious to see what it will look like and what you can buy with it!

  8. Interesting question! I think a lot of people would buy through Pinterest, but personally I think the whole ‘inspiration’ idea of Pinterest will fade and it will become more like an eBay platform really quickly. I mean; everyone will just spam their products and eventually it becomes a buying platform instead of a inspiration platform. I also think that adding a ‘buy now’ button to every object can be misleading. People will randomly buy things they like, but when they receive it, it does not look like the picture or they will spend money they don’t have.

    Despite my concerns, I would definitely consider buying things from Pinterest. They need to find a way to make it appropriate for every country, since shipping to Europe from the US can be very costly. The same goes for Google I think, although I’m not sure what Google will get from it; you Google for webshops, right?

  9. I think a buy button on sites like Pinterest would be a great idea, but I have trouble picturing how it would be implemented. When I am looking for fashion inspiration on Pinterest,, I would definitely use a buy-button because oftentimes I can’t find those clothing pieces in stores. I also love the convenience of buying something I already know I want online and not having to go out and look for it. I would be much more inclined to use a buy-button if it were linked to a site that I trust, like Amazon. However, I would be wary to give my credit card information to a random site linked to a buy button.
    When I go on Pinterest for inspiration on DIY crafts, hairstyles, recipes, I don’t look for specific products. I am wondering how Pinterest would implement a buy button for things like this…would only certain items have a buy button?

    • I didn’t mean to end my comment there 🙂 The last thing I wanted to add is that I would never use a buy button on platforms such as Tinder or Snapchat, because on those platforms I am not looking for items. Those apps serve completely different non-material purposes, so I think adding a buy-button to those would be a failure.

  10. The invasion of the buy-buttons is unstoppable. Just like the invasion of our privacy. Try shopping on the internet to buy something for your wife’s birthday: she’ll know what she’s getting even before you bought it, just because suddenly ads about golden necklaces start popping up continuously. OK, we can start using incognito modus, but then we seem to be having secrets and that’s no help either. Getting back at the buy-buttons: let’s hope they will appear small in the upper right corner, so we can use them if we feel like it and ignore them otherwise. And remember: the people who press the buy-buttons make the world go round

  11. The Buy-Button, a challenge or a threat? Protect the socially weak-mindeds from this temptation and leave sufficient fun for shopping.

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