Looks like Facebook Gifts, a new feature that was launched in US/Uk in September last year is making its way to India. In last couple of days, few of my Facebook friends have reported that they saw a notification of Facebook Gifts on their timeline. Today, I happen to see it as well… If you are on active on Facebook, you may have seen the following bubble on your Facebook page as well.
If you have not seen this on your Facebook page, don’t worry, it looks like Facebook Gifts is slowly rolling out this feature in India. And, although you see the icon and bubble, it only gives the introductory page. Gifts is still not activated for users in India, it is still in “Coming Soon” mode. It says “We’ll let you know as soon as you can give your friends gifts on Facebook.”
How Facebook Gifts work?
Its simple. You can buy and present a gift to your Facebook friend via their time line. So for example, a friend has got married and has posted pictures of his engagement or marriage, you click on the icon “buy a gift”, which appears above that status post. You can pick any gift from the Gifts product page, add your own personal message to the gift and choose to share it on your own and friends timeline. Facebook then delivers the well packaged gift to your friend’s door.
Will it work in India?
As you might be aware, international payments are a big issue in India. Many people are unable to make any transactions (like on Facebook Ads etc.) due to payments problem. Facebook Gifts, while a great idea is not a need currently, but probably a “good to have” feature. I doubt, Facebook will see a surge of gifts being presented by Indians to their friends.
Even in the US, while Facebook Gifts was expected make a lot of money for them, the quarterly results showed that Facebook earned a maximum of $1 million in revenue and sold only about 267,000 Gifts in Q4 2012, which works out to average of only about 80,000 gifts a month. For the kind of userbase Facebook has, that is a very very small number.
In my personal opinion, Facebook Gifts is a nice feature to have, but may not see too many transactions, especially in India. What do you think?