Facebook has rolled out Facebook Gifts in India, thus allowing Facebook users in India to send offline gifts to people in the US. However, it doesn’t allow users to send gifts to users in India. (Hat tip @beingpractical)
Note that Facebook first rolled out Facebook gifts in September 2012 after its acquisition of Gift startup Karma in May 2012. However at that time it allowed only select users in the US to use Facebook gifts.
To send gifts to friends & family residing in the US, Facebook users need to click on their profile and select the ‘Give a gift’ option from their cover page. Alternatively they can just access Facebook.com/gifts. Facebook provides a wide variety of categories to choose a gift from — Gift cards and Digital, Food, Wine, Apartment & Bar, Beauty & Grooming, Style, Flowers & Gift Baskets, Baby & Kids, and Gifts that give back.
Payments: Currently, Facebook gifts only supports Credit Cards as a payment option, which we believe rules out majority of its target audience in India. We wonder why Facebook has not allowed Facebook credits which now supports Paypal as a payment mode. Facebook had launched Facebook credits in India back in 2011. With each Facebook gift purchase, users can also gift an Ecard of their choice for free.
Delivery: The site states that the user will be notified of the gift and that the gift will be delivered after the giftee provides her address.
Facebook gifts, if it allowed Indian users to gift offline gifts to Indian users, could turn out to be a boon to the Indian eCommerce sites. Note that Facebook has 71 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India for the quarter ending December 31, 2012. That’s a large number of users to target. Besides, this could also indicate Facebook’s entry into the eCommerce market, although through a marketplace model. Currently, advertising accounts for 84% of Facebook revenues.
Facebook gifts competes with online gifting service Badhai.in, Giftcart.com, among others. Note that Flipkart recently started accepting International credit cards allowing international users to send gifts to friends and family in India.
eYantra, a corporate gifting and brand merchandising company, owns a consumer business portal Foostor.com and corporate gifting solutions portal logoprint.in and had acquired Privilege Corner, a corporate rewards & recognition company in January 2012.