Fab steps up social, dumps Google+ for Pinterest

Fab is taking social to the next level, but Google+ isn’t coming along for the ride.

Wednesday morning, the eye-candy-meets-commerce website released Fab 3.0, a collection of more than 100 updates intended to make it easier for users to socialize and discover content on the site. It includes one sad piece of news for Google: the replacement of a Google+ sharing button with one for Pinterest.

Fab said Pinterest was already contributing two percent of its daily visits without a dedicated sharing button. Google+, on the other hand? It wasn’t even driving more traffic than CEO Jason Goldberg’s personal blog, the company said. When Fab integrated with Facebook, its referral rate rose from 15 to 20 percent to 30 percent per day, Goldberg said. The new Pinterest investment will likely boost referrals by a significant amount as well.

Since launching last June, the site has grown to four million members and now displays 10,000 products on the site daily, up from 2,000 at the end of 2011. But as it scales further, Goldberg said, they want customers to continue to feel the thrill of discovery and not as though they’re on any other e-commerce site.

“The challenge for us is… how do we design the site so that it keeps the fun factor while making it bigger,” he said.

Fab’s Live Feed, which gives users a dynamic visual view of what members are buying, favoriting and sharing, has generated tangible results – 15 percent of all visits to the Live Feed end in a purchase, the company said. But Fab today said it was stepping up its social game to let members filter their feed so that they only see their Facebook friends’ activity. Fab 3.0 also lets members filter the Live Feed by product category and trending items and it allows them to buy directly from the Live Feed. Pinned items also get routed into the Live Feed. The new social enhancements go live today on Fab.com in the U.S., but expand to mobile apps in a couple of weeks and across Europe later this year.

Interestingly, Goldberg said that while a greater percentage of the site’s users are female (60 percent), male users tend to purchase more often. Women like to browse, but men are more direct and want to buy, he said.

The design-centered site also tinkered with the design of its navigation, adding a new Featured Today tab with the day’s hottest items, a new subnavigation and a cleaner layout. It also tacked on a new section, called the Smile Pages, which feature daily items that the company said make members – what else? – smile.