Facebook Offers Gifting Opportunities

February 28, 2013

Facebook has been rolling out a lot of new updates recently, such as Graph Search.  Facebook has also been eying your status updates for gifting opportunities. 

What does this mean? 

Facebook has already been offering the “Give a Gift” option for people’s birthdays, where you have the option of purchasing your friends a real life gift on their birthday – for example, if you are wishing a friend that has “Liked” Starbucks on Facebook a happy birthday, Facebook might suggest you purchase them a Starbucks gift card to go along with the post.  But now, Facebook is also analyzing the text of status updates to suggest gifts as well.

What types of statuses are garnering attention? 

So far, it seems to be for posts that are sharing good news, in which you might congratulate your friend.  For example, according to an article on Inside Facebook, articles about new babies, proclaiming “It’s a Boy!” or something similar, as well as posts about new jobs are now featuring a new prompt allowing you to “Give a Gift” to the user.

Facebook could be implementing this new gift-giving opportunity as a way of further utilizing Karma, a mobile gifting app that the company required recently and turned into Facebook Gifts.  Karma used to feature an application in which it scanned friends’ recent posts for clues that they might deserve a congratulations or may be in need of cheering up, then suggest gifts you could give in conjunction.  By suggesting gifts right within the News Feed, Facebook is encouraging people to buy more for their friends.

The company says its Gifts feature is slowly growing, and that they have been significantly expanding their inventory of gifts and are working on improvements to the interface recently.

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