While no one can question that social networking has become a huge business, with a lot of money behind it, one of the toughest challenge for the sites’ owners is monetising them. Facebook is now trying a new method, with its own gift cards. However they don’t function quite like you’d expect them to.
Normally a gift card is bought by an ageing relative of yours and given to you on Christmas. It lets you spend X amount of pounds in whatever shop it was purchased in. However Facebook does things differently. When you buy a “Facebook Card,” from the “Facebook Store”, you can’t actually use it on Facebook. Instead, the purchaser loads it up like a pre-paid debit card, but also has to specify how much the recipient can spend at individual outlets. So it has more functionality than a traditional gift card, but requires the buyer to be a mind reader – or at least know who they’re buying it for very well.
You would assume if the buyer of a gift card knew the person they were buying it for well enough, then they’d actually buy them a gift, instead of getting them a card that lets them buy gifts.
Oh, and take a guess at the names of the only four shops that you can spend this card at. As a British consumer, you’ve probably never heard of half of them, I know I certainly haven’t: Target, Sephora, Jamba Juice and Olive Garden. Fortunately Wired spelled it out for me. You have a make up store, a general goods outlet, one smoothie maker and an Italian restaurant.
KitGuru Sayts: What exactly do any of these businesses have in common? Besides being the only ones to agree to Facebook’s gift card scheme? Nothing as far as I can tell.