The social networking giant Facebook has now unleashed ‘Facebook Gifts‘ onto their US based network, the future of commerce has well and truly shifted into the hands of the internet.
At least, that’s what they want you to believe.
It works by turning data about each person into suggestions as to what they would like to receive as gifts for any events that are prezzie led. A guy talking about Europe’s Ryder Cup win might like a bathroom putting set, or a girl talking about last night’s True Blood might like the boxset for Christmas (forgive the stereotypes).
Without needing the hassle of shipping worries and the late night scramble to the petrol station for gift ideas, it seems a little too good to be true. Of course, Facebook gets a cut of the profit from each sale and at the moment the stock may be a little too empty for the larger consumer market but it’s pretty nifty for a newly released platform.
The gifts can be purchased as a physical item, such as a stuffed bear or a set of cupcakes but also as a digital card that they can spend on whatever item they like, like a voucher. With over 100 partners already signed up, it won’t be long before more famous brands get in on the action. Although an international gift service is currently unavailable (which I’m sure will have a cheeky release by the time Christmas rolls by), they are busy working on a service that will most certainly pull buyers away from the likes of Amazon, Play, eBay and Etsy.
Facebook Gifts takes advantage of the unrestrained social graph that has been manufactured from the site to solve a problem that many people have with e-commerce: not knowing where to ship the gift too. It does this by giving the recipient a notification to pop in their address and that’s it. The buyer doesn’t need to know where to send it to and the recipient gets excited by the prospect of the gift arriving within a couple of days.
Last minute gift buying is seemingly going to become a very easy task indeed. The only problem, therefore, is what to get them if they’ve already been gifted an item…
Apart from one controversy that will surely raise some questions. Facebook is known for its privacy issues and the inclusion of them certainly picking up thousands of home addresses and maybe even credit card details will surely be a hindrance to people who like to keep their lives for themselves.
The stats surrounding this problem will only be revealed in time so until then it seems like Facebook could become the biggest shopping website ever created.
What else would you expect from Mr. Zuckerberg?