New Facebook feature suggests users give gifts to friends with good news

There never seems to be a quiet moment at Facebook. This time, Inside Facebook reports that some users have spotted "give a gift" buttons on individual posts in their Facebook News Feed, indicating that the popular social network may be able to spot that users are sharing good news and their friends may want to congratulate them for that – and what better way than a gift!


They first spotted two examples of such posts – one wherein users mentioned a new job and an another instance wherein they celebrated a new birth. 


Currently, as users would know, Facebook suggests its gifting option alongside birthday reminders and/or suggests users to give gifts to those who announced their engagement recently. However, these are instances that users announce by making specific profile settings. What separates the latest changes from these is that the latter depicts Facebook's newfound ability to detect important life events.  

Screenshots of the new button

Screenshots of the new button



The report adds that mobile gifting app Karma, which Facebook bought last year, had a feature wherein it would scan a user's friends' recent posts looking for clues indicating a celebratory moment. “It seemed to only be a matter of time before Facebook included this in its own version of the product,” the report adds. 


Facebook had launched the Gifts service in September last year. This new service means that now users can send real-life gifts to their friends -- be it good old chocolates, socks, coffee or other goodies. If it's your friend's birthday tomorrow, you can spot the "give her a gift" link, along with a gift icon and a photo. Once you click on the icon, you will be able to spot the gifts that you could present to your friends for their special day – be it a Starbucks gift card, cupcakes, or a "you can never go wrong with" teddy bear.


The recipient of the gift will then receive a notification on Facebook, asking him to enter the shipping address for the chosen gift. In a few instances, the recipients of the gifts will be able to pick and choose the flavour and size of the cupcakes or a different style of socks. Users, if they wish to, can also exchange the original gifts with something else of their choice.


The icon shows up on the right side of a user’s page, where he has notifications for friends' birthdays, weddings and other life events showing up. Users have the option of paying for their gifts using a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover branded credit card or a debit card. Once a user makes the payment, he will be sent a receipt within 24 hours and his payment information will be saved for future purchases.


Clearly, Facebook is trying its hands at an entirely new domain, and this comes after its Karma buyout. Karma aimed to make gift-giving a little more convenient. The service had a "storefront" on its app through which users could select the gift that they would like to give to a friend. It even tied up with vendors such as Spotify, Gund and MOMA for its selection of gifts, adding variety to its offering. 

Published Date: Feb 27, 2013 01:20 pm | Updated Date: Feb 27, 2013 01:20 pm