Amazon debuts group gift cards for Facebook

amazon giftIf you love sending gifts online instead of doing it the old-fashioned way – you know, leaving the house, driving to a mall, walking to a store, handling items, carrying them to the checkout, looking at the cashier, getting your wallet out, counting money, handing it over, waiting for change, putting your wallet back, leaving the store, going home – then you might want to check out Amazon’s new Birthday Gift feature, which launched on Tuesday.

Described by the e-commerce giant as “a new way to make gift giving simple, social and fun”, the new Facebook-connected feature allows you to “grow” a gift card with friends prior to sending it to the lucky birthday boy or girl.

While Amazon already operates a gift card service through Facebook, it’s the fact that you can team up with others to deliver what Amazon calls “a big social gift” that makes the new feature a little different.

To get the ball rolling, or should we say gift growing, hit Amazon’s dedicated webpage and log into your Amazon and Facebook accounts to connect the two.

Next, click on a friend whose birthday is fast approaching, select “start a gift”, enter a birthday message, choose an amount from $1, $5, $10, $25, and check out.

After that, simply send invites to your Facebook friends, each of whom can pitch in with anything from a buck to 25 big ones. Or, if they never really liked the person that much, nothing at all.

The gift card, which will hopefully be worth more than a dollar, will arrive on your friend’s timeline on their birthday, at which point they can hop across to Amazon to browse the online store and purchase an item that takes their fancy.

Though the social network giant already operates its own present-giving services – Facebook Gifts and Facebook Gift Cards – Amazon will be hoping to score a hit with its group-oriented offering.

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