Facebook is rolling out a new feature this week that should appeal both to the company’s weary shareholders and to people prone to buying last-minute gifts.
The social giant this week introduced Facebook Gifts, designed to allow users to send wrapped virtual presents to friends. The gift-giver can choose goods or services from about 100 launch partners like Starbucks and 1-800-Flowers for any of their friends, who then receive alerts on their Facebook timelines. To combat people who rarely log in, the feature includes an option for a refund if a gift goes unclaimed for two weeks.
Given that so many people seem to rely on Facebook to remember friends’ birthdays, the new service seems like a slam dunk. But early critics note a potential pitfall for Facebook: Users will be required to give a credit card number, which could be a major hazard for a company often in the headlines for privacy breaches.