Facebook Gifts Delivers to Friends’ Doors, No Address Required

Facebook has announced Gifts, which allows users to send physical gifts to their friends with the push of a button. Gifts can be purchased from the birthday reminder on the News Feed or directly on a friend’s profile page. Gifts eliminates the need for having a friend’s address, since the gift receiver fills out all the personal information once they receive a gift notification.

Gifts is the first sign of a real push towards greater monetization from Facebook, which has been consisting on mostly advertising funds and Open Graph partners. This announcement should also please investors, especially considering the disappointing initial public offering earlier this year. The IPO price for Facebook (FB) opened at $38 per share and now hovers around $20.

If users don’t like a gift they’ve received, it can be exchanged for a different color, size, or a different item all together. This swap is done before an item even ships, eliminating the need for feigning delight or hassling with return shipping. Gifts can also be set as public or private, which will allow the both the giver and receiver to specify which friends are able to view the gift exchange.

Facebook gifts is not enabled yet, but should be available in the upcoming weeks. Gifts will range from $5 Starbucks gift cards to electronics that retail hundreds of dollars.

Because it’s not available yet, we’re left with a number of questions about Gifts. Will users be able to reject gifts or opt-out of being gifted this way? If a user enters her address into Facebook once, will she need to re-enter it for every gift she receives? Will gifting people through Facebook ruin the surprise of finding a package at your door?

We also don’t know which retailers will be selling gifts through Facebook, but the company has put up a registration page for new partners

Dann Berg
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  1. Jim Birch Says:

    It is interesting to see how Facebook has integrated Karma into its offering and time will tell how successful it becomes, but clearly it’s not the end point since there are some major drawbacks.

    1. It’s Costly. The Karma model, which Facebook has adopted, is to offer expensive products from a limited selection…you still have to pay shipping and handling for physical items so the costs add up quickly!
    2. It’s Not Social. There’s no option for a group to contribute to an individual gift, which means I have to pay the full amount. For close friends and family, I might spend $30 or more….but not on all my Facebook friends.
    3. It’s Limited. Granted I can choose a gift from their catalog….and the receiver can change it. They may be trading just to get something better, but it doesn’t mean that’s what they really want…just better than what you selected.
    4. It’s Facebook only. What if I have friends on LinkedIn, Google+, or even people who don’t use Facebook (yes, there are some)?

    If you want a truly inexpensive, social, and cross platform gifting solution that lets the recipient get exactly what they want, then check out http://www.zPerfectGift.com. You can chip in as little as $5 towards any gift….invite friends and make it a group gift. The recipient transfer the funds onto a gift card of their choice and buys exactly what they want. It’s completely free too and works across Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or with any email address. A much, much better gifting solution!

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