Facebook makes booze and gift cards available to users

Your next shipment of wine just might come from a Facebook friend.

The social media giant announced Thursday that it will be rolling out reusable Facebook Gift Cards, allowing users to send each other gift cards to companies like Target, Jamba Juice, the Olive Garden and Sephora.

The recipient will receive a reusable card in the mail, and users will be able to access their account information through their Facebook profile. The card also stores values for each retailer, acting as a single card for the user.

The social network hopes that users will use the feature to help loved ones “celebrate birthdays, new jobs and other big moments.” The company had already partnered with major retailers, including Starbucks, Netflix and Pandora, when it announced in December 2012 that it would be expanding its Gifts feature.

Facebook gifters can also send wine to other users aged 21 or older. But Facebook assured The Daily Caller that “there are multiple protections in place to make sure that underage users cannot purchase or receive a wine gift.”

“First, people under 21 will not see wine as a gift option,” Facebook spokesperson Alex Hollander told TheDC, noting that users over 21 will also not be able to purchase wine for underage users.

“In addition, the wineries work directly with ShipCompliant, a company that will verify the users age and confirm with Facebook that the order is compliant,” she said, stating that the delivery company is also “required to check the gift recipient’s license to verify age at time of delivery.”

“We have multiple layers of protection in place, so in the case that someone falsely changes their age on Facebook, ShipCompliant’s work, as well as the final step of checking the recipients ID up on delivery, ensures that the recipient is 21+,” said Hollander.

Hollander also noted that “if someone does supply a false age, it’s a violation of Facebook’s terms.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors on an earnings call Wednesday evening that Facebook’s new experimental features, including Graph Search and Facebook Gift Card, would not be impacting the company’s bottom line.

The company has been working on developing its e-commerce offerings since 2007. In 2012 in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the company gave users  the ability to donate charitable gifts.

In 2009, Facebook first expanded its gifts offerings from digital gifts — which the company began offering in 2007 — to more tangible goods. In 2008, Facebook had also rolled out its Marketplace, which allows users the ability to post to the social network items for sale.

Facebook’s new gift card and wine feature followed up an announcement to investors on Wednesday that it had a healthy fourth quarter, with considerable success in generating mobile ad revenue – which is considered to be the frontier of the online advertisement revenue space.

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