Facebook has some new partners for its Gifts service, the social network said late Thursday at a press event at FAO Schwartz in New York City. The event was originally scheduled for November 1, but had to be cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy.
The new gift outlets include babyGap, Fab, Brookstone, Dean & Deluca,L'Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers, Random House, and NARS Cosmetics.
Facebook is also adding some digital subscriptions to its lineup as well, so now users can send TV shows and music with subscriptions to Hulu Plus, Pandora, Rdio and more.
New gifts and retailer partners will be rolled out in the next weeks, including wine from Robert Mondavi Winery and Chandon.
The new partnerships are being announced just in time for the holiday season.
Back in the old days of Facebook, Gifts were originally virtual things that you would send to people, such as a teddy bear or a heart. It would show up on their wall, and they were supposed to send one back to you. It was a fun idea, but one that eventually lost its novelty after a while and faded away, as these things tend to do. It officially closed in August 2010.
Facebook launched the revamped Gifts feature in late September.
The way it works is that a user decides to buy someone else a gift, so they will go that person’s timeline and click the Gift button at the top. They select a card, add a personal message and then send the gift. The recipient will be notified, and asked for their address. The gift can be paid for immediately, or the sender can choose to wait until the recipient enters their info.
The sender will never see the address of the person he or she is sending the gift to and the person receiving the gift won’t see the price. They can also change the size, color and style of the gift.
Facebook is offering hundreds of gifts, including cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, a stuffed animal from Gund, a digital gift card from Starbucks, cookies, household goods, tshirts and posters.
Facebook’s e-commerce push
Gifts was only the first step in Facebook’s attempt to establish an e-commerce wing.
The social network also announced in October that it would be establishing a service called Collections, a Pinterest-like way for users to buy products.
The way it was was that users would liked a certain company, let’s say Pottery Barn, images of products will show up on their news feed. If they clicked on the product and you want it, they could add it their wishlist by "liking", "collecting" or "wanting" it (Facebook said that it was trying out all three terms). Once the item had been collected, there was a button on the picture taking them an external website to purchase the item.
Facebook has said that it is looking to bring the service to mobile.
(Image source: http://newsroom.fb.com)