Facebook E-Commerce Platform Launches Gifting Solutions

   on September 28 2012 4:54 AM
Facebook Gifts
Facebook Inc e-commerce platform has launched features for users to buy and send gifts. Reuters

Facebook Inc e-commerce platform has launched features for users to buy and send gifts, Reuters has reported.

Reportedly, users can purchase and ship products from over a hundred "Facebook Gifts" with a few clicks on the company's website. Products include eyeglasses by Warby Parker, Starbucks coffee and pastries from New York-based Magnolia Bakery.

If users do not desire a gift they’ve received, it can be exchanged for a different color, size or a different item altogether. The swap is done before an item is shipped. Gifts can also be tuned to public and private viewer settings that allow both the giver and receiver to specify friends who will be able to view the gift exchange.

Apparently, the facility will be enabled in upcoming weeks with gifts ranging from $5 Starbucks gift cards to electronics worth hundreds of dollars.

"People already use Facebook to communicate with their friends and share their life moments," Lee Linden, product manager heading the Gifts feature with Facebook told Reuters.

"Gifting is just a natural extension of that behavior. It makes a lot of sense for us not to just say 'Happy Birthday' but to send a gift, not just say 'I love you' but send some flowers."

Facebook Gifts venture follows Facebook's acquisition of Karma, a 16-person startup based in San Francisco. Facebook bought the company May 18, the day it went public. Karma's mobile app allows people to send gifts to their friends on the go. Facebook Gifts, of course, works both on computers and mobile devices.

Lee Linden, the former head of Karma, is currently head product manager for Facebook Gifts, which he says incorporates "the heart and soul of the Karma experience," the Huffington Post stated.

"We think gifting is a form of communication," he added.

Reportedly, previous Facebook experiments with virtual gift exchange feature came to a naught as the gift range did not extend beyond trinkets, cartoon images of flower bouquets, teddy bears and women's innerwear.

Facebook aims to provide effortless shopping and shipping of goods. "We think we can make an end-to-end way to buy a product that is seamless," Linden told Reuters adding, "We take care in the photos, in the packaging, in everything."

Initially, the service is being made available to a random group of U.S. users logging into Facebook through its website and an Android app. An iPhone app is currently in development, Linden added.

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