When visiting Facebook have you noticed these showing up lately?
A couple of months ago, Facebook internalized social commerce by providing users with the ability to send real gifts (not digital as in the old days) to friends.
Here’s how it works:
Click on the “gifts” icon in a friend’s birthday announcement or visit their timeline and look for it there, and you can send a gift to your friend. He or she will be notified immediately and can choose an address where the gift should be shipped.
Okay, so you knew that. But did you know that Amazon and Cafepress have followed suit? The funny thing is that both rely on Facebook (at least in part) to supply a list of friends.
According to Internet Retailer, Amazon’s new feature, called Friends & Family Gifting, allows users to organize their gift lists, find gift ideas and receive reminders of their friends’ birthdays and special occasions, as well as share gift lists via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or e-mail.
Late last month, online retailer Cafepress launched its own gifting program, Likeable Gifts, that uses the same protocol.
Sign in using Facebook and then press “Connect for Gift Ideas” to obtain gift ideas for your Facebook friends. The tool filters through friends’ interests and displays a selection of CafePress t-shirts, home accents, accessories and gear.
With Facebook’s intense desire to bolster its stock price, one has to wonder why the social network would allow competitors to siphon off revenue via similar social gifting platforms. I mean, it’s not like Facebook derives any income from such API-driven partnerships.
Of course, these aren’t the only companies tapping Facebook’s social graph to offer social gifting. Startups like Wrapp, Treater and Giftivo do, as well. Oh, and let’s not forget Walmart with its Facebook app, Shopycat.
Still, it’s nice to think that during this season of giving, Facebook has chosen not to be too Grinch-like.