The American social media giant is looking to help small-sized businesses around the world to set up online "shops" on its popular platforms- Facebook and Instagram- amid the pandemic, for no fee.
On Tuesday, Facebook Inc's CEO Mark Zuckerberg said small businesses will be able to set up shops to sell directly through Facebook and Instagram.
Merchants and small business owners will be able to set up their shops on these platforms with options to customize looks and display products.
"The primary focus is to ensure small and medium-size businesses have presences online and survive the current situation," Facebook director of product management George Lee said during a press briefing on the new product.
As physical shops remain shut or receive lesser footfalls amid the lockdowns across the globe and social distancing measures, many businesses have been affected, causing a jump in the unemployment rate.
"We really hope that our commerce solutions help businesses not only survive but thrive during coming months, and adapt to new consumer behavior," said Instagram Shopping product lead Layla Amjadi.
Facebook already has a e-commerce venture where businesses can ads that are displayed on the two social media platforms that direct customers to their online shops. These are, however, purely ads, and sales are made on the advertisers own website, off the social media platform.
These online shops will be rolled out in coming months to some 160 million businesses that already use the social network and Facebook plans to eventually weave them into its Messenger and WhatsApp communication platforms.
It is also looking at ways to sell products hawked during live video broadcasts, a popular form of content used by those using the social media platform to promote products.
"People have been using live video on our apps to showcase products for years, from shoe stores announcing new sneakers to beauty influencers trying on different lipsticks," Facebook said. "Now, we're making it easier to shop for products in real time."
Facebook has seen a jump in usage as people spend more time indoors. It also appears to be an oppurtunity for the company to diversify its business as budgets for advertising erode amid the pandemic, a major source of income for the brand.