Facebook leaders rolled out a new gift feature to all its users Tuesday—just in time for the holidays.
TechCrunch reported Tuesday morning that, after testing the feature on tens of millions of people for a couple of months, Facebook users can now send physical gifts—not virtual ones—by using Facebook.
A Facebook video explains how it works. Users can go to a friend's profile, and near the status box where you can also post a message or photo on a friend's wall, there is now a gift option.
Users pick out the gift, then use Facebook to notify the friend of the gift. The giver can pay immediately or after the gift is accepted. The receiver can then accept and tell their friend the best address to mail to.
Until Tuesday, the gift option was only available by invite only, according AllThingsD.com.
The online publication also reported that the items had previously been mostly food- and lifestyle-related, such as cookies or stuffed animals.
But Tuesday's rollout includes wine.
Facebook partnered with 16 winemakers to make that work, according to AllThingsD.com.
"Facebook is no Amazon or eBay at this point," writer for the online publication Mike Isaac said in the article. "The gift offerings are minor, and the company only has a relatively small number of retail partners offering gifts on the service.
"But the idea that Facebook can eventually convince users that it’s more than a social network—that it’s a place to spend money with your stored credit card information—is far more valuable than any incidental revenues made up by customers’ gift purchases," Isaac said.
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