Facebook Gifts get real
Facebook took a huge step into social ecommerce this week with Facebook Gifts, building upon their May 2012 purchase of the social gift giving platform Karma. The service is starting off simply enough by integrating a gift option into Friend's Timelines and birthday reminders. The All Facebook blog provided a deeper look at the mechanics as well as the objective of 'a way that brands can become a part of the conversation between friends'. Forbes was also impressed with what they called a natural move into a social revenue stream. If a user could buy gifts for a Friend they might begin thinking of Facebook as a place where they buy things for themselves as well. ClickZ saw a threat to the search budgets that Google currently owns but Facebook obviously covets.
Facebook always seems to find a way to stumble over social ecommerce and Gifts might also be another opportunity to do so. TechCrunch felt that Gifts might create some friction in the social process that Facebook depends on. Econsultancy pointed to the twin stumbling blocks of trust and competition -- will users trust Facebook with even more information and will merchants want to advertise on a platform that actively competes with their own efforts.