Last week, Facebook entered the gift card market with the Facebook Card — a new addition to Facebook Gifts. Unlike other gift card options offered by Gifts, this is a plastic card that can be used at Target, Sephora, Jamba Juice, and Olive Garden. Noah Mallin, vice president of social media for brand agency Digitas, thinks that the Facebook Card could be a very powerful way that brands learn more about users’ spending habits, and it could also revolutionize mobile ads.
Social marketing software provider Spredfast announced Tuesday that it raised $18 million in venture capital in a round led by OpenView Venture Partners and joined by existing investors Austin Ventures and InterWest Partners.
Facebook made a serious entry into the social gifting fray with Facebook Gifts last year, and now it’s looking to go deeper into the market. The company Thursday announced the Facebook Card, a plastic gift card that hold all electronic gift cards users have received through the social network. This will roll out gradually to U.S. users.
In January 2010, Facebook had just 337 million users — a figure that has ballooned to roughly 1 billion this year. While Facebook is still most popular in the U.S., the social network has grown in leaps in bounds in countries such as Brazil and India over the past three years. An infographic from Socialbakers illustrates how the demographics of Facebook have changed since 2010.
As Facebook looks for ways to monetize its presence, the company rolled out Gifts earlier this year — a program that is now available to all U.S. users. But Facebook wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last, to test the social gift market. Several other companies — such as Plumfare, Boomerang, Treater, and GiftHit — use Facebook to deliver experiences that can’t be captured with gift cards.
Subway has a pretty tasty deal with CityVille players. Those who play the popular Facebook game can build a Subway restaurant into their city, in return, Subway gives the player a coupon to be redeemed in-store. When the coupon is used, the player then gets a code for CityVille bonuses. An expert panel discussed this and other ways that brands can build loyalty with fans through Facebook in one of the final events of the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in New York.
Believing a gift card Facebook offer for Starbucks that seems too good to be true could land users in hot water. Dennis Yu, founder of BlitzLocal, tipped us off to this latest scam making the rounds on Facebook: offers from a shady page called Discounts (which appears to have been taken down already). Users who clicked on the offer for coupons from Starbucks and McDonald’s, among other brands, entered their email addresses, supposedly to receive loads of free goodies, but instead got hacked.
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.
Remember SuperPoke!, when you could virtually bake a cake for a friend or throw a sheep at them? A new Facebook game, Gifties, revives the spirit of SuperPoke!, but with real-life payoffs. Now, when you give someone cookies, you might actually give them cookies, which would be delivered to their door. You could even end up giving the gift of a gift cards, flights, or a hotel stay.