Monday, 4 February 2013

Facebook Launches Its Own Gift Card

Facebook Gift Cards
Yesterday, the Facebook Card was released to some users in the United States: an all-purpose gift card which can be sent to friends, topped up with credit and reused.

In an effort to further monetize the site, Facebook has partnered with a number of companies – Target, Jamba Juice, Olive Garden and Sephora – to create a new gift card which can be sent to a user’s friends.

Starbucks, who has its own digital gift card available on the Facebook gifts page, is not one of the partners, despite the fact that Facebook has begun suggesting that users purchase Starbucks gift cards specifically on friends’ birthday notifications.

Users must first choose a brand from the Gift Cards & Digital category and then a value to send: either $10, $25, $50 or $100. Target, for example, gives brief descriptions suggesting which of its products could be bought with each amount:

imageThe recipient will be notified on Facebook as soon as the gift is sent, while the actual gift card will arrive in the post a few days later. The card is activated before it is sent and can be used as soon as it arrives.

Facebook Cards are reusable and can be topped up at any time, so if you receive another Facebook Card gift it will just be added to your existing card, regardless of which brand was chosen.

All four brands can have balances on one card so, for example, if a recipient were to receive a $10 Target gift card, a $25 Jamba Juice gift card and a $50 Sephora gift card, one card would be used in all three stores.

Facebook Gift Cards
Facebook does not say what would happen if one person were to receive more than one gift card on one day, having not owned a gift card before, something that is likely to happen considering that there are very specific days set aside for gift giving: birthdays, Christmas, Chinese New Year etcetera.

Would Facebook tally all of the amounts on one card and then send it out, or would multiple cards be sent?
Recipients can view their Facebook Card balance at any time on mobile and desktop devices. Facebook will alert users to any balance change whether a new gift or a purchase.

If Facebook Cards proves popular, the gifts sent and purchases made using them could provide Facebook marketers with valuable user information and targeting data.

The Facebook Card is currently being rolled out to users in the United States.

Would you send your friends a Facebook Card as a gift?


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