One of the main reasons behind the explosion of the gift-card industry is how easy it makes the process from both ends: The gift giver avoids the process of traveling to stores, choosing gifts, transporting them, wrapping them, and making sure they get to recipients; recipients, in turn, can choose exactly what they want to spend the amount of the card on, and they are spared the hassle of returning unwanted gifts. Logistical reasons also fueled Facebook’s decision to scrap physical gifts from its Gifts offering and shift its focus to its own gift card, the Facebook Card.
We all know the five-second reaction to seeing a friend’s birthday on Facebook — a basic greeting posted to their timeline. What if you want to do more? Several companies are filling the gap and making a statement with social gifting, allowing people to give real-life presents to their friends. While entities such as Wrapp and Gifties are getting a foothold in the market, Facebook announced Thursday the launch of Gifts, a native program where users can give things such as Gund teddy bears, Starbucks gift cards, and Star Wars flash drives.