Facebook has announced that it will be rolling out Facebook Gifts to tens of millions of users, allowing them to give gifts to people from their profile page.
Eventually everyone will have a gifting button on their profile, which will make it easier for people to give gifts directly to each other. The gift receiver will also be able to refuse a gift, although shipping will be paid by the person giving the gift.
Some of the companies Facebook is partnering with for the new service include babyGap, Fab, Brookstone, Dean & Deluca, L’Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers, Random House, Inc. and NARS Cosmetics. You can also gift TV shows and music with subscriptions from the likes of Hulu Plus, Pandora and Rdio. If you happen to be somewhere those services work, that is.
The new service is available on the web as well as on Facebook’s various mobile apps. On the iPad for instance, you’ll get a pop up menu with a scrollable list of gifts.
For now, says The Next Web, gift recommendations are’t based on what you like but rather what people within similar demographics are buying each other. You’ll also be able to pick out a card with the gift, according to holiday and occasion.
There’s a whole load of other customisable stuff, with the ability to give wine coming soon.
The fact that Facebook is getting so serious about gifting is big. On the plus side, it’ll help catapult the industry into the imaginations of millions of people. It will however be of concern to the large number of social gifting startups that have sprung up over the past few months.
If they’re going to survive their best hope is probably to go niche and specialise. Facebook will be able to cover a lot of ground, but not all the ground.