There’s a good deal of potential in Facebook gifting applications, both native apps offered by Facebook and third party applications that take advantage of Facebook’s developer platform. But few have figured out the sweet spot for monetizing many gifting applications on Facebook. A new application called Personal Picture Gifts is hoping to find a niche way in which to monetize and create value for gifting applications that’s extended to users.
The Personal Picture application lets you personalize the gifts you send out to friends, on whatever occasion. It does so by enabling you to insert text into the photo as an integral part of the application. By doing this Personal Picture is hoping to provide a lot more value to users by layering in the personalization. Most gifting apps on Facebook will run you about $1.00 per gift. While this is quite reasonable, Personal Picture is hoping to make gifting even more worth your while by enabling personalization options for the same price.
The gifts are still photo based, so the Personal Picture gifts are not virtual representations of physical items. That means that the photos available, which range from cutesy to sexy, are personalized through text only. But the text personalization isn’t half bad. Whether or not this is adding notable value to the virtual goods economy on Facebook’s platform or any other similar offering from a social networking site remains to be seen. I wouldn’t mind some additional options for personalized virtual goods beyond photos, but I think this is a good start.
I also think that Personal Picture is doing well to move the virtual goods movement forward by adding personalization options. Such capabilities are the next move for gifting within social networks, especially as it will become increasingly easy to personalize virtual gifts based on recommendations across social networks and online retail sites among other things. Eventually such personalized virtual goods will be incorporated into more than mere gifting and retail sites, and will contribute to web-based concierge services, search and research analytics as well.
If you want to create your own personalized gifts on Facebook, go check out the Personal Picture Gifts application.