Facebook is doing away with virtual gifting and saying hello to actual real Gifts, Facebook’s new mobile revenue stream. It is the company’s major initiative into the world of social gift giving and e-commerce. It’s a major undertaking for Facebook, tackling an entire new segment of online commerce and adding a brand new revenue stream to its business.
Gifts, however, work just as well on Facebook’s apps and mobile Web site as they do on the desktop. Now, along with notes and photos, users can post Gifts directly to their friends’ Timelines with the addition of a “Gift” button, squarely placed inside of the text box on each profile.
Facebook’s Help Center provides the following steps on “How to give a Gift”:
Step one: Buy your friend a gift- Pick out the perfect gift, add your message and it’s ready to ship – no address needed.
Step two: Your friend is notified instantly- Friends enter their own shipping info and can swap for a different size, flavor or style before the gift ships.
Step three: The gift arrives- Your beautifully packaged gift gets delivered right to your friend’s door.
Facebook has teamed up with over 100 retailers to launch this new service. Key components to this process include having the individual retailer handle all the shipping and the ability of Facebook to keep one’s credit card information on file. Buy once and it will be extremely easy to buy again.
Are you interested? In order to make your products available through Facebook Gifts, they require you to contact them by filling out a Merchant Interest Form provided at Facebook’s Help Center.
Clearly there is a lot of competition in the e-commerce world but Facebook’s scale of engagement makes them a strong contender.