The social media giant Facebook first launched Facebook gifts in the final months of 2012. Facebook gifts allows users in the US to buy real gifts (real-world products, not animated cattle) to give to their friends and family. At the beginning of this year, it launched Facebook cards, a new kind of gift product.
In an effort to further monetize the social media website, the Facebook card can now be loaded by 4 big name brands: Olive Garden, Jamba Juice, Sephora and Target, where users have separate budgets to spend on each one. When a friend receives a gift card, the amount will automatically be added to the existing card (if they have one). Users are able to view their different balances on Facebook and with a mobile app.
At the moment the card can only be used in the US but it’s being tested in preparation for it to go global. “We’re starting with the U.S., and we’ll evaluate in the future what makes sense,” said Lee Linden, Facebook gifts’ creator indicating that the company does plan to go global with the new e-commerce product.
According to the UK Gift Card and Voucher Association, gift cards and vouchers are big business in the UK, worth around £4bn per year. The Facebook gift card, if successful, can represent a major opportunity for businesses to engage new users and connect with their audiences, increasing the number of customers.
If Facebook card proves popular, the gifts sent and purchases made using them could provide Facebook marketers with valuable user information and targeting data. With more businesses adhering to gift cards, Facebook will be able to direct ads to users who have spent money — even if it was a gift — which is much more valuable to brands. Businesses that invest in social media marketing and in Facebook, in particular, should take note – this new feature will then allow them to better connect with audiences through the spirit of giving.
Also a gift card connects brands with the users’ needs and that’s why gift cards are so popular: offering a card might not come off quite as genuine as a real gift, but it eliminates the need to rack your brain for what a friend wants, browse endless e-commerce sites, and spoil the surprise. Facebook provides the who, what, and how so a user can focus on the joy of giving.
Do you think the Facebook gift card would be a great benefit for UK businesses?