Major ticket sellers like Ticketmaster might be nervous about Facebook’s newest feature. The company is testing ticket sales directly from event pages.
Facebook is rolling out a “Buy Tickets,” button for event pages. To test out people’s willingness to buy stuff through Facebook directly, the company is working with a limited number of San Francisco Bay Area-based indie venues, events, and promoters, a Facebook spokesperson told the Daily Dot.
Unlike other online ticket sellers, when you purchase a ticket through Facebook, you’ll have to pick it up at the actual event at Will Call, as Facebook isn’t providing any printable or email tickets in the initial tests. Currently, event creators can add links to third-party sites to buy tickets on the event page.
To buy a ticket without leaving Facebook, you’ll tap on the button, select your tickets, enter credit card, debit card, or PayPal information, and you’ll receive a confirmation of your purchase to the email associated with your account. Facebook processes the transactions, but the ticketing is handled by whatever service the event host is already using.
Facebook will store your payment information, and it can be used the next time you buy something.
Ticket-selling is Facebook’s latest move into commerce. Earlier this year, Facebook introduced payments in Messenger to send money to friends via the chat app, and in November, Facebook began testing fundraising pages for non-profits and made some minor tweaks to the donate button to let donors give money without leaving the social network.
Considering millions of people already use Facebook events to track their social engagements and to RSVP to entertainment venues, sporting events, and community gatherings, offering a “Buy Tickets,” feature directly within the event page could prove to be a simple and compelling way of centralizing users’ social lives. If rolled out more broadly, it could also give event hosts an easier way to offer ticket sales—using Facebook to exclusively manage event invitations and sales seems like a practical solution.
Despite the one billion people who use Facebook on a daily basis, there are still some holdouts that will miss out on their favorite events if they’re only listed on the social network. A Facebook account is required to use Facebook events. So if hosts want to reach a broad range of potential guests, they’ll likely have to continue to use services that don’t require a Facebook account to access.
One perk that will appeal to event hosts, however, is that Facebook isn’t taking a cut of the ticket sales.
A hurdle for Facebook will be getting people to trust it with their payment data. Already, Facebook has massive amounts of data about us and seemingly invasive features, including the ability to recognize our face before uploading photos to Facebook. Payments adds yet another layer of personal data to Facebook’s information vacuum. But, like so many other Facebook features, perhaps we’ll be willing to give up even more personal information for convenience.
H/T BuzzFeed | Illustration by Max Fleishman