After months in beta Facebook's new ecommerce platform, Facebook Gifts, finally launched to all U.S. users this week. Facebook Gifts has a familiar ring to it - as a now-defunct program of the same name allowed users to send and receive virtual items on the site. But this time, Facebook has partnered with over 100 retail outlets to bring you a fully-realized real gifting platform, just in time for the holidays.
So if you have friends and family across the country (or simply don't want to have to deal with the ones near you) and want to send them a present this holiday season, Facebook has just become one of the places where you can do it.
First, head on over to Facebook. There are two ways to open up the Gifts feature. You can either find the Gift icon on your desired recipient's Timeline...
...or visit Facebook.com/Gifts, select "Give a Gift," and enter your recipient's name:
Next, you need to select your gift. Facebook starts off by showing you "recommended gifts," but you can click on that to access a drop-down menu with all the available categories. Right now, that includes Food & Drink, Fun, Wine, Home & Kitchen, Beauty & Body, Fashion & Accessories, Flowers, Baby & Kids, Pets, and Gifts That Give Back (charitable donations).
Once you select your Gift, Facebook will give you all the details. This includes shipping details, ingredients, flavor or size choices, etc.
From there, you'll be asked to choose a card to accompany your gift. Facebook offers over a dozen choices or card types, including Holidays, Wedding, Thank You, Congrats, Birthday, and Just Because.
All that's left to do is review your order and enter your payment details. On the review screen, you can choose whether or not to make your purchase public and share it on the recipient's Timeline. This is also where you'll first get to see your total price including shipping (which can be pretty significant if you give a gift that needs special shipping, like ice cream).
Of course, if anything goes wrong with the transaction, you can consult the Facebook Gifts help page.
That's it. Pretty simple, really (except maybe not on the wallet).