A few months back, we asked if Facebook’s gifting application could become a billion dollar idea for the popular social network. Maybe Facebook is wondering the same thing.
Last night I signed onto Facebook and saw on my notifications tab that it was my friend Ken’s birthday. I don’t typically send a virtual greeting card or gift to friends on Facebook–I prefer to write on their wall, send them a private message or give them a call. So instead of clicking on the option to send Ken a greeting card, I clicked on his user name instead, expecting to be redirected to Ken’s profile where I’d be able to write on his wall.
But his profile had the gifting application tab (which is on every user’s profile by default) appear front and center when I clicked on Ken’s user name, instead of his wall. It’s almost as if Facebook is insisting that I send my friend a card or virtual gift! Oh wait…that’s exactly what Facebook is trying to do here.
A little bit annoying for me, but this could be enticing for others. If the option is right there on a user’s profile, why not just choose a virtual good and post that on their wall along with your greeting? It’s a tactic grocery stores use when they line up a bunch of products right near the aisle; magazines, gum, Snickers bar. You need all of these things, right? And they’re all cheap enough. Just toss it on the conveyor belt and watch the grocery store roll in the margins.
If Facebook could manage to get its payment platform established and also make it easier (more encouraging) to spend money on the site, virtual gifting, among other applications, could very well be billion dollar ideas for the company. Yesterday I also mentioned teaming up with various brands for application marketing purposes, which could also work well with Facebook’s new aggressive stance on incurring online purchases. It looked to be a promising option for Facebook when it teamed up with a handful of brands like Dell for holiday-specific virtual gifting.