The UK’s second largest mobile network, O2, has announced that its customers can now top-up their pay-as-you-go (PAYG) accounts through Facebook.
A secure app on O2’s Facebook page lets subscribers enter their personal details, and their credit card information, and their top-up purchase is confirmed by text message. At the time of writing, the app doesn’t appear to be live yet.
This is another big step forward for social commerce, and it seems that O2 is the first mobile phone network to offer such a service, in the UK at least.
However, other retailers have already opened so-called ‘f-commerce’ channels, whereby the whole retail experience takes place entirely within the Facebook platform. ASOS – the online clothes retailer – opened a fully transactional Facebook store earlier this year, and this was followed by French Connection offering a similar Facebook store.
With over 600m users, Facebook offers a fertile commercial environment for retailers to tap into, so O2’s latest move does make sense.
But with more and more brands offering fully transactional stores on the social network, it seems that Facebook is edging closer towards creating a sort of mini Internet within its own walls. You can rent and watch movies through Facebook now, and rumors are rife that Facebook is partnering with Spotify to launch a new social music service shortly.
Good or bad, Facebook has really become a commercial powerhouse and it shows no sign of stopping.