Apple and Facebook bring iTunes to Gifts

Steven Loeb · November 26, 2012 · Short URL:

Apple previously integrated Facebook into numerous iOS 6 features

Facebook’s Gifts feature is turning out to be a big success. Since relaunching the service a couple of months ago, a slew of big name companies have partnered up with the social media giant, including babygAP, Hulu and Pandora. Getting into the e-commerce business has even helped Facebook’s stock stay afloat. Now, Facebook has its biggest partner yet, one that could have bigger implications down the road.

Facebook users now have the ability give each other iTunes digital gifts. Those sending the gifts can recommend albums, movies, games, apps, and anything else available on the iTunes Store it was announced Monday.

The digital iTunes giftcards come in denominations of $10, $15, $25, or $50.

Apple is joining other retailers, including Uber, Starbucks, Magnolia Bakery and Gund as part of Facebook’s Gifts service, relaunched in September after having been dormant for two years after it officially closed in August 2010.

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’s first post-IPO purchase was gift app Karma, which Facebook used to build Gifts.

At an event earlier this month, Facebook announced around a dozen new partnerships, including babyGap, Fab, Brookstone, Dean & Deluca, L'Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers, Random House, and NARS Cosmetics.

In addition to iTunes, Facebook  has also added some other digital subscriptions to its lineup as well, so that users can send TV shows and music with subscriptions to Hulu Plus, Pandora, Rdio and more.

Facebook said that new gifts and retailer partners would be rolled out in the next weeks, including wine from Robert Mondavi Winery and Chandon.

For Facebook, Gifts represents a big step in the direction of making money off e-commerce, a move that is already paying off dividends. The company’s stock hit a four-month high in trading Monday. A contributing factor to the price jump was the word of two analysts who upped their price targets based, at least partially, on Facebook potential revenue from its Gifts feature.

Apple and Facebook

Facebook and Apple have partnered up before, and this new endeavor will only bring them closer together.

In June, when Apple unveiled iOS 6, it embedded Facebook into a number of its features.

Users were given the ability to post to Facebook directly from Safari, Maps, and Photos. It was also integrated with Siri.

Apple has the largest smartphone operating system, while Facebook is far and away the biggest social network on the planet. So, in some ways, it makes sense for the two companies to team up and feed off one another. What the ultimate end goal is for either one, if there is one beyond making a lot of money, remains to be seen.

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