Facebook gifts are real
If you thought Facebook's mobile advertising plan was going to sink the company you didn't consider how many other sources of revenue they could tap into. Facebook just announced on their Blog a new service called Facebook Gifts.
The concept is compelling. From your own newsfeed or on a friend's timeline you can click on a gift icon to send them something tangible for their birthday, anniversary or any occasion where an email just isn't enough. The recipient chooses their own ship to address so the process is simple... and simple means you will follow through.
I know the Apple Cards app has changed how I send cards to friends. The mobile version of Facebook Gifts has the potential to be just as powerful. A mobile application doesn't make it more convenient to send gifts on the go. It means you can cross off another task whenever you want wherever you are. In fact, standing in line at Starbucks I may be inspired to send a Starbucks gift card to my friend for their birthday. All I need to know is that they are on Facebook.
Real Moments. Real Gifts.
The Social Matrix Facebook is building on our virtual likes and relationships has suddenly become much more interesting as the venture into a territory owned by Amazon. Initially it will roll out to people in the U.S. and presumably they are working on plans for other countries as well. From the screen shots I've seen so far none of the products appear to be retail brands, mostly services, food, gift cards and custom made product.
Currently text and display ads account for 67% off Facebook's revenue. Transactions on virtual goods account for 16.3% of revenue. Sales of tangible gifts is an entirely new source of revenue which starts today.