Amazon Offers Gift Cards Through Facebook

In another sign of the growing maturity of social shopping, Facebook users can now give Amazon gift cards to their friends on the social networking site.

To take advantage of this, users need to link their Facebook and Amazon accounts at www.amazon.com/giftcards-facebook. The sender can choose a gift card design, specify an amount up to $5,000 and write an optional message, according to an Amazon press release. The sender can also schedule the date for the gift card to appear on the recipient’s Facebook Wall up to a year in advance.

“We think our customers who use Facebook will be thrilled that we’ve made gift-giving more social,” said Michael Gellar, director of Amazon gift card issuer ACI Gift Cards. “Sending gift cards has never been easier and we’re excited to offer the Facebook option just in time for the holidays.”

Amazon is also offering a “Give 5, Get $5″ promotion. Starting today, the first 10,000 customers who give an MP3-themed Amazon.com Gift Card to five different Facebook friends will get a $5 credit good for music downloads at Amazon MP3.

I think this is a really smart move for Amazon. The online retail giant already has some level of integration with Facebook, allowing users to connect their accounts to receive gift recommendations based on their Facebook friends likes and dislikes. The recommendation engine didn’t appeal to me personally but this new gift card functionality would convince me to link the accounts. It makes gift giving so much easier and also more social if I can send gift cards to my friends’ walls, rather than trying to figure out their home address or risking the loss of an email. I also love the fact that you can organize gifts so far in advance.

Social shopping is hot property right now with retailers, both large and small, seeing Facebook integration as key to their marketing and sales strategies. Even charities like the World Wildlife Fund are getting in on the act. Here at AllFacebook we’ve written about the trend quite a bit over the past few months.

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