Matthew Leach | @MatthewLeach13 With the holiday season upon us, you’re sure to face over-crowded malls, shipping anxieties, and a number of gift returns. Now imagine a virtual world where gift giving is nearly 100% hassle free. No address issues and ultimate gift satisfaction. This holiday season, all of this has been made possible with Facebook’s re-introduced feature - Facebook Gifts.
The initial Facebook Gifts feature was shut down in 2010 due to lack of traction, but Facebook expects this newer version to be better then ever.
How it works:
- Start by linking your credit card to your Facebook account. You may easily remove this information post-purchase.
- Go to a friend’s or loved one’s profile page and click on “Gift,” right above the updates section. You will then encounter a page full of different gift ideas, from exotic coffee blends and tasty sweets to board games and beer making kits.
- Once you select a gift, you can select an accompanying card and thoughtful message for the recipient. You then have the option for this gift to be publically posted onto their timeline or left private.
- After the recipient has been notified of the gift, they can either accept as is or swap for a different size, flavor, or style.
- They are then required to approve the gift by entering their shipping information, at which point you will then be charged.
It’s simple, nearly error-free, and always leaves your friend or loved one satisfied with their gift.
On the surface, the missing element of surprise seems to be the feature’s only downfall. But even the best Facebook features come with a price. Because Facebook is collecting your credit card information, this is potentially another attempt by Facebook to gather your physical address, among other personal data, in order to better target you with advertisements.
But in an online world with an overwhelming emphasis on your personal information for the sake of advertising, it’s nearly impossible to avoid these simple marketing initiatives.
Regardless, this feature is easy, convenient, and most of all lets you express your love and gratitude towards distant family and friends who you’ve been longing to connect with.
As Roman philosopher, Seneca, once said, “We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation.”
Facebook Gifts lets you do just that.