Facebook Gifts recently launched worldwide with hundreds of partners in tote and the company is taking a second stab at physical gifting. Starbucks, iTunes and even Charities have been added to the expanding catelogue of physical gifts. But the options are rather limited. There are expensive chocolates, bags of tea, wine, toys, apparel, and jewelry — but that’s about the end of Facebook’s variety.
With the holidays just a couple of weeks away, we figured that you may want to check out products from some other Facebook-integrated apps.
Treater uses Facebook to pull in your contacts and their birthdays. While you can browse its products on the Web app, Treater offers an iOS and Android mobile app. But the type of platform you decide to use really doesn’t make any difference. When you purchase a gift, a notification is sent to the recipient via a Facebook post, and when opened up in a mobile device, the recipient can claim their gift directly from the store.
Treater offers selections from categories including coffee, sweets, drinks, apparel, food, and “Night Out.” You’ll see products from Urban Outfitters, Pinkberry, Kiehls, various participating spas, movie theaters, and other companies. The selection of gifts is rather limited, but affordable. Only the gifts in the category for pampering cost more than $30.
As a warning to those of you shopping for a male friend or family we wouldn’t recommend Treater. Its gifts are best for the ladies in your life.
Gyft is a mobile-only app that you can download from the Apple App Store or Google Play that takes a different approach from traditional gifting apps. You won’t find physical products here. Gyft takes the guessing game out of the equation by offering only gift cards. Users can sign in with Facebook, from which the app pulls your contact’s birthdays, and immediately purchase or upload existing gift cards by typing in the card’s number. There are hundreds of participating major retailers to choose from including Amazon, Gap, Fandango, and many others. There’s a slim chance you won’t be able to find a retailer that you’re confident in purchasing a gift card from; most are available.
If not used for gifting, the app doubles as a personal digital wallet. You can store your gift cards on Gyft and even add your cards to Passbook. But what you might not know is that by adding and storing your gift cards, you can repurpose the credit that you may not have spent to use as a gift for your friend, without the recipient even realizing this. Sending your friends the gift after making the purchase can be done via Facebook, email, and text message. As an added bonus you can choose the date for when digital gift card gets delivered to the recipient.
The app is only available for U.S. users, and offers a $10 gift card as a bonus for new users.
Wrapp, like Gyft, gifts delivers gift cards and uses Facebook to find out your friend’s birthdays and send them gift notifications. But there are a few stark differences between Gyft and Wrapp.
First, unlike Gyft, Wrapp offers a Web-based app that is accessible via desktop. Wrapp does also offer a mobile app for both Android and iOS devices so you can enjoy its benefits and features on the go.
Second, Wrapp has partners globally in eight countries: Germany, Finland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, United States, and Australia. So if your friend lives in any one of these countries, Wrapp is able to find out where they’re living and automatically tailor the location and types gift cards offered by retailers in the respective location. And if friend wasn’t living in those exact locations, the app would find the closest country and recommend gift cards from that location.
Wrapp also offers a digital wallet where you can store gift cards, and there are plenty of bonuses – for example I received $40 worth of gift cards from various retailers like Office Depot and Fab.com just for signing up. But the similarities to Gyft end there. Wrapp users aren’t able to add existing physical gift cards to the wallet, and there isn’t a way for you to purchase gift cards for yourself (for whatever reason that may be). But if you’re into freebies, Wrapp users will find a number of free gift cards that surface as promotions from time to time, although some come with strings attached.
Wrapp is perfect for sending gift cards that might be slightly tailored for your non-U.S. friends. But the list of Wrapp’s participating retailers in the U.S. pales in comparison to Gyft. So if you’re shopping for an American friend, go with Gyft.
Shopycat is a gifting Facebook app developed by Walmart Labs, an e-commerce innovation lab nurtured by Walmart. The app sits inside of Facebook, unlike those mentioned above, and it’s the simplest app to use in this roundup. The app recognizes upcoming birthdays among your friends and uses Facebook data to recommend Walmart products that would best fit that Facebook friend. In fact users aren’t able to browse for other types of gifts unless they navigate to Walmart’s website.
The types of products that are recommended aren’t cursory recommendations. Walmart spent $300 million to acquire Kosmix, social-genome startup that built the “Social Genome” techonology, which now powers Shopycat.
If you want an extremely personalized and customizable gift recommendation, look no further than Giftivo. The Web app launched in November 2012, recommends Amazon products. Note that the company doesn’t have a partnership with Amazon. Giftivo requires that you sign up and log in with Facebook, but in this case it’s for a good reason. Giftivo pulls all of your friend’s interests (in other words, Facebook Likes) and displays it on one page. You can even add or delete your friend’s interests to better refine Giftivo’s recommendation algorithm. Then clicking on “Find Gift Suggestions” will aggregate and list hundreds of your Facebook friend’s personalized gift recommendations.
The app works for eight different regions including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Japan, and the recommended gifts change based on the location. But unlike Wrapp, the regions aren’t automatically detected. So if you want to send a gift to someone outside the U.S., you’ll have to manually select the closest region and re-click the “Find Gift Suggestions” button.
Clutch, which recently rolled out its iOS app, is trying to be the single mobile destination for everything related to shopping and deals. Despite displaying physical products, the types of gifts that you can purchase for friends are gift cards. Other than that the only way to purchase physical gifts for your friends is if they have downloaded the app and created wish lists. Clutch does, however, provide value in other areas, such as its mobile shopping guide, which is perfect for the holidays.
Initially you won’t have to sign into the app with your Facebook account like the apps above require you to do. But if you want Clutch to store your friends’ birthdays, you’ll be required to sign in with your Facebook account. But before you make another move, we have to warn you that Clutch is not shy to admit that it’s monetizing your data. So anything you do on Clutch, from browsing the app, choosing deals, adding gift cards, all of that will be tracked so retailers can learn about your shopping habits. If you’re OK with the above (and acknowledge that nearly all online retailers are doing the same, admittedly or not), then read on.
Clutch, though fun to use, is rather dizzying to navigate and will be slow to open up new pages. There are so many features packed into one app that it almost masks the app’s potential. In addition to purchasing or storing gift cards, you can search for shopping deals among brands, find local offers, and even compare prices by scanning the product’s barcode. If you’re physically walking near a retail outlet, the app will pop up and recommend a coupon that could be used toward a purchase. If it were up to us, we’d use Clutch exclusively for browsing shopping deals, granted that we’re willing to divulge our shopping habits with unknown retailers. Leave it up to Gyft and Wrap if you’d like to purchase gift cards for friends and family, however.
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