Facebook today announced the launch of Facebook Card, a reusable gift card that can be used at Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target.
Facebook members can purchase and send the multitasking gift card, accessible from the "Gift Cards and Digital" category within Facebook Gifts, to their social-network friends.
"We're starting this early rollout as another way for people to instantly send their friends gifts through Facebook," a company spokesperson told CNET. "Each gift is a set value at a particular retailer, chosen by the sender."
The process for sending a Facebook Card is fairly intuitive: select one of the four retailers and specify an amount, then let Facebook manage the rest. The recipient is sent a physical Facebook Card, as pictured above, via snail mail. The card then becomes the person's universal card that refreshes in value with any future gift card a Facebook friend sends his or her way. The card can handle multiple balances from each of the participating retailers, though each balance can only be used at the specified retailer, which means you can't pool funds and spend as you please at Target, Jamba Juice, Sephora, and Olive Garden.
Facebook Card holders can view their balances on Facebook and will receive notifications when an incoming digital gift ups their balance at a retailer. The option to send a Facebook Card as a gift is rolling out to U.S. users gradually, Facebook said.
The Facebook Card is an extension to the social network's Gifts product, which before the holidays but is still very much a work in progress. The company spelled out yesterday that revenue from Gifts is still pretty much nonexistent. Gifts was actually lumped into an "other revenue" category that brought in about $5 million in the fourth quarter.
"This past quarter, payments and other revenue also included around $5 million from sources outside of games, primarily user promoter posts and to a lesser extent from our new Gifts product," CFO David Ebersman said.
Facebook declined to disclose the terms of its relationships with the participating retailers or share whether it plans to add additional businesses to the Facebook Card experience.