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Starbucks @Tweetacoffee campaign lets you send the sweet, sweet gift of caffeine

Even if you’re a coffee snob who only consumes free trade beans, insists on using at least four instruments in the creation of your morning jolt, and uses words like “aromatic” and “nutty” to describe it, I’m going to wager you wouldn’t turn down a free Starbucks coffee. I know, I know, it’s not from the local hole-in-the wall where the dress code is hemp and soy-made clothing only, but Starbucks is making it even easier to gift friends free drinks, so maybe you’ll make an exception.

Starbucks new @Tweetacoffee Twitter program is as simple as it sounds: You log in at the Tweet-a-coffee’s Starbucks landing page with your Starbucks account (don’t have one? Aw shucks, guess you have to get one!). Then you can just enter the Twitter handle of the recipient you’d like to send the sweet, sweet gift of caffeine, and tweet it to them. Then when they log in, they’ll see a $5 gift card tweeted to them from Starbucks that can be redeemed in store with a quick scan of the bar code within the tweet. Aaaah technology.

The recipient doesn’t need to have a Starbucks account, though of course if they want to pay it forward, they’ll have to create one.

No word on how long @Tweetacoffee will be around, Starbucks says it’s simply beta testing the service for U.S. users at the moment. It’s an all-too simple way not only to drive coffee sales, but it gets more users to sign up for Starbucks accounts, which means they’ll get newsletters and coupons and discounts and birthday free drinks, thus basically forcing them to become Starbucks consumers on the regular (which, for the record, I have no issues with and will be glad to receive any and all tweeted free drinks). 

Tweeting drinks has been done before, as well: At SXSW, the Tweet-a-beer app was extremely popular, for obvious reasons (i.e., drinking at SXSW). 

It’s also another example of Twitter being used as a commerce engine. The simple, social exchange comes with few strings attached and is an instant gateway to gifting or buying. There’s always caution with online purchasing, but credit card and personal info are built into another platform – i.e., the Starbucks account – that is putting a wall between Twitter and your bank account. Of course nothing is ever 100 percent safe, but there’s a risk with all online buying, including sites like Amazon or eBay. But this one comes with instant gratification and social interaction. 

Now if we can just find a way to tweet and instantly fill our mouths with Pumpkin Spice Lattes … sorry, getting ahead of myself. Some day. Some day.

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