The social network is rolling out its new mobile service that allows real world purchases.
Facebook has announced the launch of its new mobile commerce Gifts service, which lets its members purchase and send items from the real world as presents to the contacts on their friends lists.
This service has rolled out on desktop and Google’s Android.
It was also announced that a version designed for the Apple iOS will also be launched within the next few weeks. Facebook Gifts has been built on the mcommerce gifting platform called Karma, which was purchased by the leading social network in May 2012. It is hoped that the new program will leverage the birthday reminders and other types of events occurring on timelines such as announcements of engagements, weddings, and births.
Facebook hopes its mcommerce program will encourage people to send gifts through its systems for ease and convenience.
It has already established over one hundred retail partners, including Gund, 1-800-Flowers, Magnolia Bakery, and even Starbucks. The recommendations for the items to be purchased as a gift will be based on the Facebook profile of the recipient.
Following the selection of the item, a card can be attached by the sender, who can then mail the product directly to the recipient at his or her address. The sender can also decide whether the gift can be announced on the timeline of the recipient, or whether it should be sent privately. Moreover, the recipient will be able to “unwrap” a form of virtual preview of the product that will be received, even before it actually arrives in the mail.
At that time, the recipient can make his or her own choice of size, color, or flavor, or can even exchange the item for something else of an equal value.
In order to complete the transaction, the sender uses a new or existing credit card that has been saved into the Facebook account. Though it is assumed that Facebook will be receiving a certain percentage of each transaction, Lee Linden, the head of gifts at the social network, has declined to reveal this information, stating that each partner and product had different terms.