Facebook is set to unveil a new service named Gifts; a result of the company's acquisition of Karma, a 16-person start-up based in San Francisco. As the moniker suggests, the service will enable users to send tokens such as chocolates, coffee, and other real-life presents to their loved ones and friends via the social networking channel.
However, Gifts is strictly for users in the U.S. for the time being, before it trickles down to other regions in the coming months.
Unlike conventional shopping and shipping procedures, the service also enables recipients to enter their own shipping info, or swap the gift for a different size, flavor, or style (where applicable) before the gift ships. The Gifts icon will be available on the right side of users' Facebook pages, and it'll be visible along with notifications of friends' birthday, weddings, and other life events. Users may access the icon via friends' Facebook pages as well.
According to The Huffington Post's article, this service is only accessible to Android-based mobile phone users for the time being. The iPhone and iPad versions will be released later. However, there's no mention of its availability for other mobile operating systems, such as Windows Phone for instance.
Facebook's Gift service marks the company's first and "serious" foray into e-commerce, and understandably, they'll receive an unspecified cut from each gift item sold.
Source: The Huffington Post