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As I went through my morning social media routine (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, Google Reader) I noticed that today is my boss', Brian Pasch's, birthday!
Happy Birthday, Boss!
But what I also noticed was a Facebook Gifts notification that I wasn't sure I have seen before:
Facebook Gifts are nothing new. In fact, I remember when they first came out I would gift my friends with free photos of balloons on their birthdays (I never opted for the $1 photos).
These new Facebook Gifts are potentially a HUGE money maker for Facebook since they'll be receiving commission on all the deals.
So where exactly does this gift lead me to? First, a welcome screen describing exactly what I'm buying into:
Then the actual landing page for the merchant, who is Starbucks in this case. I don't need Brian's address or anything - the gift is just sent through Facebook and they will receive an email with their gift card. Also, they can even easily use the gift on their phone (mobile is king!):
Pretty cool. I like to give most of my gifts in person, but there have been some times where I sent people an email gift card for Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
I wanted to know HOW Starbucks was able to be a Merchant in this case. Facebook is talking a lot about their Sponsored Stories, Retargeting, etc. so is this an easy opt-in?
Actually, maybe not. You have to contact Facebook directly and even provide photos of your products.
So if you don't have a product and want to offer a service, how do you present that to Facebook? Maybe that's the next phase of Facebook Gifts.
As Facebook tests more and more advertising options within a person's actual feed, I'm sure they are going to want to screen these merchants so you don't have a list of possible gift cards to buy for every time it's a friends' birthday.
Sorry, Brian, I didn't buy you a gift card. Mostly because I'll see you in person tomorrow and I can buy you some wine instead. I have a feeling you'll like that better. I might even top it off with a birthday high-five. Until then, I'll leave you with this gem that we still treasure from two Halloweens ago:
ADM community: What do you think of Facebook Gifts? Would you buy them as a consumer, and would you use them as a business?
Write your thoughts in the comments below, or drop me a line here:
Christine Rochelle, PCG