Do you have a close relative or a best friend in the US, who has a birthday coming up? Miss being with them and wish you could do something. Well, now there is a way. Facebook Gifts can now be sent from users in India to their loved ones in the US.
We received a notification this morning and gave it a try and it seems to be working as advertised. The service seems to gradually rolling out to users as some people have reported seeing this earlier.
To gift something to someone in the US, you will need to find your way to the profile page of someone who resides in the US. Once you do this, you will find the ‘Gift’ button on your friends profile page. This option only appears on desktop and iOS devices for now.
After choosing a gift, one has to select a digital card and personalize it with a message. After this you will sent to the payment gateway. We noticed that Facebook Gifts only accepts payments by credit cards. There is no support for net banking or debit cards.
You need not enter the shipping address of your friend. This has to be done by the receiver once he is notified of the gift. We found this to be an option feature as you can easily surprise someone and need not take the trouble of locating or finding out addresses. The receiver will not be able to see the price of the gift, but they can choose a different size, color or style if they so wish. There is also an option to swap it for another similarly priced gift before it ships.
Once you gift someone, you can choose to have it displayed on the timeline, but it remains unwrapped till the receiver accepts it.
We found the portfolio of gifts to be pretty small but there are options for everyone. There are digital cards from various companies like Starbucks and Apple’s iTunes. There are also physical gifts ranging from soft toys to chocolates to beauty & grooming products. Unfortunately, there are no electronics in the catalogue yet.
The gifts start at $5. Facebook says that Digital gift cards are usually delivered within 24 hours, while physical gifts usually take between 3-5 business days.
Facebook gifts was launched for US users in the second half of last year. It is the result of Facebook’s acquisition of Karma, a 16-person startup based in San Francisco.
Some time back we profiled Giftbig.com, Badhai.in, Giveter and Giftyaar, which offer gifting and recommendations for gifting in India, with some elements of Facebook integration. It will be interesting to see how these startups will cope when Facebook rolls out the service worldwide.
Facebook which has over 65 million users in India has been slowly adding payment options to the site. Last year, Facebook added support for Facebook Credits for Indian app developers and had silently launched its Talktime program in India where one got $1 for registering via the mobile site.