What’s the point in seeing it’s a friend’s birthday or that they have a new job if you can’t send them a gift? That seems to be the train of thought that lead Facebook to roll out Facebook Gifts, integrated with birthday reminders. This new feature is available for the moment only for some US users, with no official information on whether it will be made available in other places in the future.
Facebook users can send cookies, household goods, T-shirts and posters. They select the preferred gift, and the friend to receive it. At this point, the friend receives a notification and provides a delivery address. After the payment is made, the gift is wrapped up and sent to the selected person.
You might be happy that you can send a gift to a friend and thus not make a bad impression because you forgot their birthday or another important event, but keep in mind that you are offering Facebook more information about you. To be more specific, you are freely offering your credit card number. The social network also receives the complete address information of the recipient which means it could provide better targeted advertising in the future, thus earning more from those willing to pay for ad services.
Facebook also gets a cut from the sales of the partners – only logical to win something for bringing them more clients. So Facebook wins on all levels! The social network gets more information on its users and gets money on all fronts!
Yet all the gathered data on users is not enough, as apparently Facebook is currently working with data company Datalogix on a project that involves tracking visitors’ online buying habits in order to find out if they buy something after they have visited the social network and saw an ad here for that product.
So is this new feature a useful one? Yes, it could help. Is it worth enough to provide all the required details? That is up to every user to decide!