With online shopping making it easier for users to buy booze, they can now also send it as a gift via Facebook. Last Tuesday, the social network expanded its Facebook Gift service to all US members, allowing them to send physical presents such as gift cards, cupcakes, and music-streaming subscriptions to friends. They also added wine to the list of gifts that they can send to their loved ones.
How Facebook Gifts Work
Facebook alerts a user when birthdays, engagements and other important life events occur in their friends’ lives. The social media giant then gives them an option to send a gift through third-party courier services, or post it on their friend’s profile.
By adding wines on the list, Facebook teamed up with winemakers such as Mondavi, Amuse Bouche, Twisted Oak and many more. This enables users to send a bottle of wine to their Facebook friends.
As to whether the service can be abused by underage Facebook users, the social network said that they’ve put age-verification measures in place. The age-verification system is placed at the point of sale and upon delivery, making sure that buyers and sellers are 21 years old and above.
Facebook said that they are also working with ShipCompliant and its wine partners to regulate wine gifts.
Online Shopping: Changing the Traditional System
Facebook has ramped up their gift delivery services during the past few weeks. In fact, they’ve added iTunes Gift Cards to their offering after Thanksgiving. The holiday tie-ins between companies with online presence are apparent, as they try to capitalize on the on-going online shopping spree this season.
However, the social network is also branching out into other revenue streams in the wake of their IPO. It seems that Facebook takes a cut on every transaction, which they could add up, depending on the number of its US members that uses Facebook Gifts.
It is not the first time that wine was added to an online gift delivery services. Last month, Amazon added their Amazon Wine store, shipping to Washington D.C. and other 12 other states.
Most states in the US prevent residents to purchase alcohol online because of certain distribution systems. The system requires customers to buy alcohol from stores that receives shipments from distributors. This disables wineries from selling straight to consumers, but it is likely to change as online retailers are starting to shake up the system.
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