Amazon, Facebook Connect for Social Shopping

In a new social recommendation beta from Amazon and Facebook, when Amazon users click on the recommendations link from their Amazon home page, they can opt to connect the social network with Amazon to enhance the shopping experience.

It's just a small button on Amazon users' recommendation Web pages, but the e-commerce giant's integration with Facebook Connect could light the torch for a major social shopping shift.

Beginning this week, when Amazon users click on the recommendations link from their Amazon home page, they see a new beta window on the right of the screen that invites them to "Tap into Your Facebook Network."

The tagline says: "Connect to Facebook to get Amazon recommendations for you and discover your friends' Favorites and Likes."

Users can click on the Sign in and Connect button, confirm their Amazon credentials, and they will see the window shown on Mashable here describing the service and asking them to connect with Facebook.

The service warns users that it will share Facebook information about them and their friends with Amazon, which creates a special Facebook recommendations Web page when users agree to the terms.

Here are some of the benefits the companies tout for these social recommendations:

  • discovering Amazon recommendations for movies, music, and more based on your Facebook Favorites and Likes;
  • seeing upcoming birthdays and finding Amazon Wish Lists for your friends on Facebook more easily;
  • getting great gift suggestions for your friends based on their Facebook Favorites and Likes; and
  • exploring your friends' Favorites and seeing who has similar interests.

Indeed, when eWEEK signed in, we saw notices about friends who have birthdays coming up, as well as some of their likes and pages they are fans of on Facebook. The "likes" include, predictably for Amazon, books, movies and music.

To do this, the connection allows Amazon to access a user's name, profile picture, gender, networks, user ID, lists of friends, and any other information users share with everyone on Facebook. The Website also accesses users' likes.

Amazon promises it will not share information from users' accounts or purchase history with Facebook. Amazon will also not attempt to contact Facebook friends or post anything to users' Facebook walls without their consent.