Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonight

facebook-gifts-developersWe’ve covered the evolution of Facebook’s virtual gifts extensively on Inside Facebook over the last couple of years, but tonight we’re hearing that Facebook is about to start testing a major new expansion to the Gift Shop that will integrate items from third party developers. The move will expand Facebook’s merchant platform beyond the “Pay with Facebook” tests that are running inside a few applications and, for the first time, integrate a variety of third party virtual gifts into the Facebook Gift Shop. In addition, for the first time, Facebook users will be able to purchase physical merchandise in the Gift Shop with Facebook Credits.

Facebook has just confirmed the test to us, saying that the changes will go live for a limited number of users tonight. Four developers are part of the initial program: American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, Someecards, and Real Gifts.

Here’s how it will work: gifts created by developers will be integrated into the Facebook Gift Shop alongside regular Facebook virtual gifts, marked with the developer’s logo or icon. In the case of virtual gifts, the price will usually be 10 Facebook Credits or USD $1, the same price as most virtual gifts created by Facebook. However, physical gifts – for instance, say a dozen roses – might cost up to 500 Facebook Credits, or USD $50. When users select a physical gift, they’ll be prompted to enter the delivery address in line, just like in a traditional shopping cart experience.

facebook-gifts-developers

facebook-gifts-physical

While Facebook says the launch is still a test, we think it’s indicative of Facebook’s desires to develop a much more robust merchant platform. Between the Gift Shop and payment service for developers, Facebook is in the unique position to build a robust commerce business and simultaneously create powerful new monetization opportunities for developers. And because all items in the Facebook Gift Shop are purchased with Facebook Credits, a growing gifts business expands the footprint of Facebook’s virtual currency, which is also used in Facebook’s application payments service.

When reached for comment, a Facebook spokesperson issued us the following statement:

“Yes, I can confirm that Facebook is making some changes to the Gift Shop that are expected to launch tonight. As we continue to provide users news ways to share with their friends around birthdays and special occasions, we are conducting a test in which third party developers will be able to offer virtual gifts in the Facebook Gift Shop.  This initial test is being conducted with a limited number of users and American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, Someecards, and Real Gifts will provide gifts. We will share additional details of this program as they become available.”

All in all, we expect developers to be very excited by the opportunity to participate in Facebook’s Gift Shop for the first time. The sheer volume of users that Facebook has the potential to distribute premium content and merchandise to should be very attractive to any developer hoping to monetize through virtual gifts. In addition, it will be very interesting to see how sales of physical items within the Facebook Gift Shop go – this will be the first time Facebook has so heavily integrated physical goods for sale into the native Facebook experience.

Finally, Facebook’s decision to open up the Gift Shop to third parties should present significant opportunities to those with licenses of popular brands. For example, just last week, Facebook launched a special set of Britney Spears-themed virtual gifts for 20 Facebook Credits (USD $2) each. We expect to see more tests like these as Facebook further opens up the Gift Shop in the weeks and months ahead.

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61 Responses to “Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonight”

  1. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way | NASZAKLASA says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  2. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way | TechDozer.Com says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  3. Casey-Computing and Technology » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  4. Martin Tobias says:

    anyone know how applications can ISSUE facebook Credits? or if that is only a FB bank thing?

  5. Justin Smith says:

    Martin, only Facebook is issuing Facebook credits at the moment. And only apps in the “Pay with Facebook” payments test can redeem them.

  6. 「Pay with Facebook」で、バーチャルギフトもリアルの商品も一緒に購入 | ソーシャルアプリ.jp says:

    [...] Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonigh… [...]

  7. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way  says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  8. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way | Blog13 says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  9. Partners Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  10. Facebook Expanding Gift Shop says:

    [...] Facebook has so heavily integrated physical goods for sale into the native Facebook experience. [InsideFacebook] Share this on del.icio.usDigg this!Share this on RedditBuzz up!Stumble upon something good? [...]

  11. iGraphiX Blog » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  12. 0.2 » Facebook propone la vetrina del suo Gift Shop alle Terze Parti says:

    [...] | InsideFacebook Condividi questo [...]

  13. Facebook börjar sälja fysiska varor « Blissnation says:

    [...] börjar sälja fysiska varor Posted in Utveckling by Johan on 20 augusti 2009 Det här är stort. Facebook har bekräftat att de ikväll kommer att börja rulla ut en uppdaterad version [...]

  14. prosperity says:

    The offering of physical gifts is a development. I rarely visited the gift shop but now that it’s moving away from being strictly virtual I see it piquing much more interest.

    Ryan

  15. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way « Ask Theron Blog! says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  16. Thomas says:

    I have a question. From what I’ve read, it seems that it is only possible for the limited developers to take part in the Virtual Market using Facebook Credits correct? Is it possible to have a app developed that uses “Pay with Facebook” features?

  17. Finance Geek » Facebook’s PayPal-Killer Will Be Bigger Than Facebook Ads, Some Execs Believe says:

    [...] Facebook’s Justin Smith broke news last night that some Facebook users can now buy virtual and physical gifts from third-party vendors using [...]

  18. Bruce Christensen says:

    Selling REAL gift items seems like a great idea!
    There usually is money to be made in that type of salesmanship.

  19. Kortbloggat på digitalpr.se-20 August 2009 | Strandh.DigitalPR says:

    [...] Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonigh… [...]

  20. SearchCap: The Day In Search, August 20, 2009 says:

    [...] Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonigh…, Inside Facebook [...]

  21. The Dawn of Real Facebook eCommerce - Google Live Search says:

    [...] The web has been waiting for this concept to come. Earlier this year, Facebook was rumored to begin testing a payments system that would compete with entities like PayPal and Google Checkout. Then they hired none other than Prashant Fuloria, former Director of Product Management for Google Checkout. Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith reports: [...]

  22. Justin Smith says:

    Thomas, both the Gift Shop and Pay with Facebook programs are in limited testing with a few developers at the moment.

  23. The Dawn of Real Facebook eCommerce | The Free Site Hosting | Reviews & Top Hosts says:

    [...] The web has been waiting for this concept to come. Earlier this year, Facebook was rumored to begin testing a payments system that would compete with entities like PayPal and Google Checkout. Then they hired none other than Prashant Fuloria, former Director of Product Management for Google Checkout. Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith reports: [...]

  24. The Dawn of Real Facebook eCommerce - Programming Blog says:

    [...] The web has been waiting for this concept to come. Earlier this year, Facebook was rumored to begin testing a payments system that would compete with entities like PayPal and Google Checkout. Then they hired none other than Prashant Fuloria, former Director of Product Management for Google Checkout. Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith reports: [...]

  25. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way - Programming Blog says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  26. Busted Keyse says:

    though a part of me can’t believe people actually purchase virtual goods (e.g. virtual flowers), i’m also amazed at how Facebook has turned into an internet within an internet.

  27. product fulfillment says:

    I can’t wait to check out the API for this. We can integrate it to the Shipwire fulfillment API http://www.shipwire.com/api and then any merchant that wants to sell on Facebook can automate fulfillment post purchase.

    Just like we do for Google Checkout and PayPal.

    Cool.

    Nate
    Shipwire Product Fulfillment
    http://www.shipwire.com/trial

  28. Facebook expands Gift Shop to include physical merchandise : says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, the social networking site is testing a major expansion to its Gift Shop, allowing items from [...]

  29. Facebook Gift Shop to Open to Developers, Sell Physical Goods says:

    [...] We’ve all seen Facebook’s virtual gift shop: for little to no money, you can send a friend a “gift”—an image to display on his/her profile. Though it often features deals and promotions with other brands, the gift shop app is owned and run by Facebook. But now the gift shop will be testing with developers and physical and virtual goods. [...]

  30. Facebook Gift Shop to Open to Developers, Sell Physical Goods | Google Adsense says:

    [...] We’ve all seen Facebook’s virtual gift shop: for little to no money, you can send a friend a “gift”—an image to display on his/her profile. Though it often features deals and promotions with other brands, the gift shop app is owned and run by Facebook. But now the gift shop will be testing with developers and physical and virtual goods. [...]

  31. Facebook Gift Shop to Open to Developers, Sell Physical Goods | webmarketingexperts.com.au | webmarketingexperts.com.au | says:

    [...] We’ve all seen Facebook’s virtual gift shop: for little to no money, you can send a friend a “gift”—an image to display on his/her profile. Though it often features deals and promotions with other brands, the gift shop app is owned and run by Facebook. But now the gift shop will be testing with developers and physical and virtual goods. [...]

  32. Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and … | Anniver sary gift live today says:

    [...] is most to move investigating a field newborn treatment to … Originally posted here: Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and … Posted in Gifts, Uncategorized | Tags: covered-the-evolution, evolution, facebook, inside, [...]

  33. Facebook Gift Shop to Open to Developers, Sell Physical Goods - Web 2.0 Promotions says:

    [...] We’ve all seen Facebook’s virtual gift shop: for little to no money, you can send a friend a “gift”—an image to display on his/her profile. Though it often features deals and promotions with other brands, the gift shop app is owned and run by Facebook. But now the gift shop will be testing with developers and physical and virtual goods. [...]

  34. Social Media Mycelium « Momentary Lapse of Reasoning says:

    [...] is all very interesting. Just a while ago Inside Facebook wrote about how Facebook is expanding its Gift Shop. A thing like Facebook gift may sound again a bit stupid. “Who even buys those silly [...]

  35. 2 Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  36. The Mercenaries in Facebook’s Midst « The Week in Geek says:

    [...] revenue, it’s the fourth largest site in the world, and it grew twice as fast as Twitter in July. New revenue streams (such as ‘real gifts’) loom on the horizon. Still, the firm’s $100 million program that allows employees to cash out up [...]

  37. The Facebook Threat to Carriers | aquadoo.co.cc says:

    [...] but undeterred, social networking leader Facebook is expanding its potential to make money by selling virtual and physical goods in its gift shop. The company is running tests which allow users to [...]

  38. Search Engine Marketing News - August 24, 2009 says:

    [...] Confirmed: Facebook Expanding Gift Shop to Include Virtual and Physical Goods from Developers Tonigh… for the first time, Facebook users will be able to purchase physical merchandise in the Gift Shop with Facebook Credits. [...]

  39. Facebook opens up “gifts” function to developers, adds e-money : TechVi: Technology matters. says:

    [...] handful of gift and greeting card companies have affiliated withFacebook to roll out a makeover of the site’s “gifts” feature. Previously, $1 would buy a gift which could be sent to a friend, but now, the changes will add  [...]

  40. Shopping Mall » Blog Archive » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  41. EmotiCards – Your Best Pictures As Postcards Via Facebook says:

    [...] to Roman Pixell, CEO, EmotiCards will get onboard the Facebook virtual currency  coming soon, as working with a mobile integration and an iphone app. My immediate question about [...]

  42. Advertisers Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  43. Nonprofits next to test Facebook payment platform - Programming Blog says:

    [...] blog Inside Facebook reported last week that four online gift and greeting companies–American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, [...]

  44. Freetracking.org » Nonprofits next to test Facebook payment platform says:

    [...] blog Inside Facebook reported last week that four online gift and greeting companies–American Greetings Interactive, GreetBeatz, [...]

  45. Nearly any marketing goal can be acheived with social networks | Rick Whittington Consulting says:

    [...] Still, increased direct sales from social networks may eventually occur, especially considering Facebook’s upcoming virtual currency and 1-800-FLOWERS’ commerce integration with [...]

  46. The Week in Geek – Aug. 31, 2009 - The Week in Geek says:

    [...] revenue, it’s the fourth largest site in the world, and it grew twice as fast as Twitter in July. New revenue streams (such as ‘real gifts’) loom on the horizon. Still, the firm’s $100 million program that allows employees to cash out up [...]

  47. Masters Blog » Blog Archive » Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  48. Refresh – Social Media Professionals » השיווק במדיה חברתית - הפוטנציאל רק מתחיל להיחשף says:

    [...] בצמרת – אבל המצב עשוי בהחלט להשתנות בקרוב, עם השקת "הארנק הוירטואלי" של פייסבוק. אפליקציית פייסבוק קונקט שמשולבת באתרי סחר [...]

  49. Refresh – Social Media Professionals » השיווק בזירות החברתיות - קצה הקרחון של פוטנציאל עצום says:

    [...] – אבל המצב עשוי בהחלט להשתנות בקרוב, במיוחד לקראת השקת "הארנק הוירטואלי" של [...]

  50. social media stations says:

    more gifts to come

  51. Chris says:

    I really like the “real” gift idea’s but would like to see an option for the person receiving the gift to be able to opt out if they don’t want the gift or change the address if they are visiting relatives or would like to receive their gift at work. Just a thought.

  52. Chris says:

    Would like to see gifts that can be emailed such as mp3′s, amazon credits, etc.

  53. More News About a Facebook-Lala Music Partnership: Virtual Gift Songs says:

    [...] in Facebook’s gift store, The New York Times reports. The service, as we’ve covered, has already been available for third-party developers since August. From the [...]

  54. Facebook Expands Virtual Goods Business with Licensed Music and Sports Gifts says:

    [...] will allow users to send gifts from developers like JibJab, Real Gifts will allow users to send physical items, and Virtual Gifts will allow users to send the virtual gifts that have been in Facebook’s [...]

  55. shoppergirl2010 says:

    This is a great idea!

  56. Facebook’s PayPal Rival? Gift Marketplace On the Way says:

    [...] to Inside Facebook, today marks the start of Facebook offerings gifts created by outside developers into the Facebook [...]

  57. Facebook – the future of Charity Shops? – M4ID says:

    [...] that Facebook will develop a new universal currency, Facebook credits, which could be used to buy physical, not just virtual gifts, as has been the case so far. The social networking site is also currently [...]

  58. boys bedroom ideas says:

    We are aiming at people buying gifts for little boys – parents, grandparents, other family members and friends. We are aiming at someone who wants to buy something different that cannot be purchased on the high street.

    boys bedroom ideas

  59. sebabatso says:

    more gifts to cum

  60. Facebook Credits: Der Weg zur Webwährung » netzwertig.com says:

    [...] Spätestens wenn die ersten wirklichen Shopping-Apps oder die ersten externen, über Social Plugins bzw. Connect mit Facebook verknüpften Websites den Erwerb von physischen Produkten oder digitalen Inhalten abseits virtueller Güter anbieten sollten, erhalten Credits auch eine Bedeutung für alle die Mitglieder, die sich nichts aus Spielen machen – bisher gab es lediglich Tests in diese Richtung. [...]

  61. siteIT social media says:

    עולם האינטרנט חיכה לפיתוח הקונספט הזה על ידי פייסבוק. מוקדם יותר השנה פייסבוק כבר בחנה את האפשרות לאפשר תשלומים און ליין ועכשיו זה קרוב לקרות.
    דרך אגב, כדי עשות את זה פייסבוק שכרה את המנהל הקודם של גוגל צ’קאאוט מתחת לאף של גוגל.

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