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World’s Largest Snow Park Coming To Abu Dhabi This Year

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Facebook And Instagram, Turning Business Profiles Into Storefronts

Both Facebook and Instagram already supported a degree of e-commerce — for example, Facebook has its Marketplace and will likely make a bigger push through its Libra cryptocurrency initiative, while Instagram allows users to buy products featured in posts and ads. But the company’s new tools go further, enabling businesses to create a full-fledged Facebook Shop.

After all, the pandemic has probably made consumers even more likely to treat Facebook and Instagram profiles as the go-to source of information on local restaurants and stores — if your favorite store has changed their hours, or switched to online delivery/curbside pickup, they’ve almost certainly posted about it on Facebook or Instagram. So why not allow visitors to make purchases without having to leave the Facebook and Instagram apps?

It’s also worth remembering that the pandemic’s economic fallout is already hurting and killing off many small businesses — businesses that post and advertise on Facebook. So the company has a stake in helping those businesses survive in any way it can.

In a Facebook Live session today, CEO Mark Zuckerberg described this as a way to help businesses suffering in the wake of COVID-19, though he acknowledged it will not “undo all the economic damage.”

He also suggested that this will remain useful after the pandemic: “I do think we’re going to continue living more of our lives online and doing more business online.”

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