Tech Talk: Facebook Expands Gifts Program, Mobile Apps

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November 16, 2012 ‐ By Kimberly Maul

 

AP Photo/Facebook

Just in time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Facebook is pushing its new Gifts program, which officially launched in September and allows users to purchase physical items to send to friends or family.

At an event at the famed FAO Schwartz store in New York, the social network announced new retail partners, including babyGap, Brookstone, and Lindt. Users can also purchase online subscriptions as gifts, such as Hulu Plus or Pandora.

PC World spoke to Jeff Petrosillo, a senior e-commerce manager for L’Occitane, one of the new retail partners. L’Occitane will offer gifts starting at $19, he said, and using Facebook will be just one more way to sell products.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, users were able to use Facebook to give gifts to charities, and that will still be available, said Lee Linden, head of product for the gifts division. But the main focus for post-IPO Facebook is diversifying its revenue streams and attracting sales.

Additionally this week, Facebook announced updates to its mobile presence for both iOS and Android devices. On Wednesday, Facebook debuted its share button for mobile, its version of the re-tweet, allowing users to re-post an update or photo posted by a friend or Facebook page. It was originally available on Facebook’s mobile site, but with the debut of new versions of the Facebook app for iOS and Android yesterday, it is now more widely accessible.

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