Facebook, the largest social media network in the world with over 500 million members, is cashing in on the Christmas spending mode of netizens by launching in the United States a section called Gifts.
One of the gifts featured are iTunes credits which allow users to instantly purchase iTune digital items for their friends. Albums, movies, games, and apps are also allowed to be recommended presents as well.
Members could send dollar amounts to their FB friends which are credited to their iTunes accounts. The credits should be worth $10, $15, $25 or $50 to be used for buying at Apple's digital content bazaar.
Currently, the feature is under trial in the U.S. and will soon offer other physical gifts among users besides the current offer of Starbucks cards, GUND teddy bears, and items from Brookstone, Baby Gap and Lindt Chocolate.
Credit/debit cards details are expected to be submitted for the physical gifts which could lead to some security issues. It will eventually be available outside the United States.
How does Facebook Gifts work?
To send Gifts:
1. Go to a friend's timeline
2. Click Gift and pick out an item
3. Select a card and add a personal message
4. Review your order and then click Give Gift
Once sent, Facebook will notify the receiver and asks for the address. The recepient won't see the price of the gift but can choose a different size, colour, style or even swap it for another similarly priced gift before shipment.
To review the gifts ordered, click the settings menu at the top right of any Facebook page and select Account Settings. In the left column, click Gifts.
Types of Gifts
Physical gifts range from cookies to household goods all the way to T-shirts, and posters. Digital gifts are delivered via email along with instructions for redemption. Once opened, Facebook will ask to select the email address where it would be preferred to be received. Redemption of digital gifts is via barcode or gift certificate number.
Facebook uses credit cards as payment method for gifts and its details are stored for future use. If the Facebook member wants to remove the storage of his card details, he should click the account dropdown menu in the upper right corner of any page, choose Account Settings and click Remove to erase them from the database.
Shipment and Delivery
Depending on the item, gifts can take up to two weeks for delivery. Most gifts are shipped within 24 hours and typically will arrive in three to five business days. Magazine subscriptions may take up to eight weeks for the first issue to arrive.
The user has the right to cancel a gift any point before it is shipped. Here's how:
1. Click the account dropdown menu in any page and choose Account Settings
2. From there select Gifts
3. Click View Details beside the gift
4. Beneath the billing information, click Cancel Gift
Wrong gifts can be cancelled and items received may be swapped for another item of equal or lesser value within 24 hours of accepting the original gift.
1. Unless notified, gifts are inclusive of taxes on their prices
2. Facebook members should report unauthorized charges to the Support Team for Facebook Gifts that weren't ordered
3. To track down the package arrival date, check the details in the Gifts menu and let Facebook know that it wasn't received
4. For wrong addresses, go to Contact Us within 24 hours to fix any address errors
5. Items which arrived damaged or in poor condition must be reported immediately to resolve the issue
Facebook is hoping that members would not limit gift giving through its Gifts feature during the yearend holiday but use it throughout the year for special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and other landmarks in members' lives.