Facebook has taken another step toward becoming, amongst other things, a full on retailer. Their new gifting service is being rolled out in some major US cities, and will be first available on Android devices followed by iOS devices in coming weeks.
Facebook previously had their own virtual gifting service, though withdrew it in 2010. But it was never going to be their last foray into retail. Back in May we covered Facebook’s acquisition of Karma, and this new service is the the manifestation of that acquisition. The service is very much aimed at gifting for birthdays, popularly celebrated on Facebook, but is firmly focused on physical items for delivery – ranging from a few dollars to some items worth hundreds. Items include Flowers, Cookies, even Starbucks vouchers. [Watch Zuck’s Overview].
It’s an interesting development, not least because it gives Facebook a real opportunity to expand their database of credit cards – something Apple (iTunes), Google (Play), and Amazon, all boast. That, would be a big development for Facebook.