Social Media Platforms as Homes for Businesses


Social media was and is still being used as an online equivalent to socialising with friends. But with the implementation of e-commerce mechanics, social media has evolved to become a new medium of online shopping; a home for businesses, regardless of size, funding, or background. Ideally, this system lowers the requirements for start-up brands, and creates a levelled field for all businesses to operate with.

  • Social media & E-commerce: Social Commerce

  • Virtual Hubs for Businesses: Instagram and Facebook

  • Is Social Commerce the future of shopping?

Social media has become a core aspect in the norm of today. It has brought entire communities together, and has also paved the way for an entire generation of youths. The Internet has evolved social media to become a virtual cityscape, where we are able to interact and learn from others, meet new people in our lives, and once in a while, even do a little shopping.

Businesses have long been around the Internet; brands, big and small, have uploaded themselves onto e-commerce websites with the intention to boost sales and increase their brand’s online presence. In doing this, the World Wide Web has become a border-bending space for seamless, instant, and global commerce that one could say that it was a home for businesses. But this road did not end in a cul-de-sac; it was no dead end. Businesses would soon find themselves another place to call home, in a more populated and bustling side of the Internet, the metropolis of social media.

Social Media & Businesses

The average person of today is expected to have access to at least half a dozen different social media platforms. Why is that so? Well, that is because each platform serves as a different form of social networking.

A cornerstone of social media has always been its application of online content; from static images to short-form videos, the possibilities of online interactions are endless. This brought about the sheer congestion of online traffic, which was a goldmine of a reason for businesses to leverage the social media bandwagon.

This effectively gave rise to the term ‘social media marketing’, an advertising system where businesses-held pages devise products or services-based content onto their social media page. How it works is that:

  • Customers who encounter these pages through social media advertisements (ads) could then navigate through the business page’s contents. An interested patron could then easily tap a button to be directed straight to the business’ website or online store.

The costs for advertising on social media were exceptionally low when compared to traditional sources of advertisement, and reading real-time performances of ads meant that businesses could know exactly what was working and what was not. Having said that, each social media platform functions differently for the rest. Keep reading on to understand how businesses are adapting to the times, and the platforms.


The first to appear on this list, and for a good reason to boot. Facebook is not just the largest social media platform in the world, with over 2.2 billion active users a month, but is also a platform with the most features that highlights businesses.

Facebook Page Shops are, for easier explanations, a digital’s equivalent to a retail store. Take Brunei’s very own @QQeStore for a go, with just a few minutes and clicks — they were able to operate a fully legitimate Facebook online store with all the perks of a physical business. This allows even the most micro of businesses to sell, manage, and promote their products 24/7 — all from a single hand-held device.

Facebook Marketplace is another in-app commerce feature on Facebook, the difference from Facebook Page Shops, is that buying and selling on Facebook’s Marketplace is, quite figuratively, just like buying and selling in a real marketplace. This form of commerce is usually reserved towards direct forms of businesses-to-customer. For a clearer example, if a person in Tutong was looking for a second-hand device, he/she could easily open up Facebook, search for the specific device on the app’s Marketplace, and if someone else in Brunei happened to sell that device, they could both mutually meet up at a specified location for the transaction.


Instagram is widely known to be the social media platform that puts the limelight on imagery. Facebook data has also uncovered that 70% of Instagram users utilise the app for product discovery. This shift in focus meant that Instagram businesses are able to tip things to their favour, just by producing more attractive content for their profiles.

Instagram Shopping, in league with Facebook’s Page Shop, is a feature that gives Business profiles the availability to sell physical products to over 70 countries. A proprietor of Brunei’s digital goods, @tentenstores is a perfect example of how a brand utilises Instagram Shopping. You may have probably seen ads from TenTenStores, home-based sellers, and many other local brands that have popped up in your news feed. These are ‘targeted ads’, automated from your recent surfing of the web. Formulated by cookies and search engine histories of certain keywords that you may have used, it gives businesses a wider exposure to prospective customers.

Instagram Checkout is a relatively new feature to enter the market. Although it is currently only available to a selected few brands and countries, Instagram Checkout allows customers to complete entire purchases, right off the app itself. This spells a future where the next time you see something attractive on your feed, you could buy it simply with a tap of a button.


One of the growing contenders on this list with 500 million users a month, TikTok, originally known as, is a platform that allows users to create short-form videos and edit them with a seemingly endless library of lenses and effects.

Business accounts in TikTok rely on creating entertaining content. While businesses on other platforms try to keep a formal profile, business accounts on TikTok are more likely to be fun or playful. This is because TikTok has established itself as a platform, not just for younger audiences, but one that has a looser restriction on creativity. For instance, @digitalworld_bn is a local business that does a terrific job at creating ingenious short-form content, not just improving their brand image to the public, but also effortlessly promoting their products on the app.

The state of e-Commerce in Brunei

Brunei is seeing a fairly new surge of businesses moving onto social media platforms, but on the same page, some local e-commerce platforms have already planted themselves for a good while.

  • is a Bruneian-based online portal that acts as a directory for other local e-Commerce platforms, logistics services, eateries, and vendors.


The early surfacing of e-commerce in our shores dates back to 2017. These are the first few platforms that established themselves 3 years ago, standing the test of time and market tolerance:

  • was founded in 2017, and is currently Brunei’s largest online shopping platform, offering online shoppers a convenient, easy, and secure way to shop for a variety of items, and even sell.

  • is another Bruneian e-commerce platform founded in 2017, with a more general focus on perishable goods and foods, going so far as delivering customer orders to their front doors.


Even in the midst of a confined Ramadhan this 2020, there are some e-commerce platforms that cater to the communities that are fasting.

  • is one of the newer food delivery platforms to enter the Bruneian market that does door-to-door deliveries, even from 9pm to 2am.

  • is the digital platform for one of Brunei’s most popular attractions in Pasar Malam Gadong. In an effort to keep the community and local businesses for Ramadhan.

What does Shopping in the Future sell?

Social media has taken large steps since its adolescent themes of socialising on the web. It has grown far to become a virtual habitat, where almost every large name brand has products that can be purchased inside the platform itself.

But as far as themes of online shopping being a haven for shoppers to go, businesses are also finding it easier to nest down a home for themselves on social media and with the gradual inclusion of businesses on social media platforms, it will not be a surprise to see the trend grow to become a self-supporting industry in the future, with Brunei included.

Will social media become the next hotspot for businesses due to its frugal costs and undemanding effort of managing one? If so, is the future of shopping entirely on social media? That’s just something we would have to wait and see, but for now, let’s just buckle up for the ride there.