Facebook gifts feature
If you are like me then remembering someone’s birthday is a nightmare, I usually remember the day after or give them my best wishes via Facebook, if or when I see it highlighted with a remorseful feeling of guilt of not sending a card or gift. Facebook have picked up on this “guilt” feeling and now there is no excuse not to send a gift with its new Facebook gifts feature.
Facebook have now come up with the launching of its “Facebook Gifts” the beta version is already running in the US. Here’s how it works, Facebook tells you it’s someone’s birthday or special occasion and you are prompted to buy them a gift, at the moment its things like chocolates, cupcakes, gift cards and soft toys, but this will expand. The recipient of the gift is notified straight away and they are contacted by Facebook for their address delivery details. (The sender does not know the address details but will have to give Facebook their credit card details). When the gift is received it has a card with the Facebook logo and the gift can be exchanged for different gift sizes, colours etc. within limitations.
Nice idea you may think and it may certainly work for relatives overseas who may find that shipping costs are too high or a spur of the moment purchase there and then on the Facebook page but looking on the negative side (As I always do! And yes I need to lighten up a bit :)) I can foresee a few problems.
Facebook will be taking their chunk on each gift bought and you will have to pay for the shipping or handling costs, which can make a small gift quite expensive. People will be receiving gifts that they may not want or like. Will the recipient willingly give their personal details to receive the gift, will they be bombarded with store promotions when they do, and will the buyer trust Facebook with their credit card details? (How many account hacks have you heard about Facebook?). Can it compete with EBay or Amazon who are already stand firm in this area, what happens if something goes wrong with the transaction, who is responsible?
Facebook tried a similar venture a few years ago but scrapped the idea, the bulk of its revenue comes from advertising and quite a chunk comes from gaming company Zynga. The feature will also eventually be available as an iPhone App.
I’m not sure if Facebook users will readily get their credit cards out for such gifts, but one thing I am sure about, is the fact that parents should quickly hide their credit cards before the feature is in full flight!
See you soon and buy me a cupcake,,, Jimi