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Newly flush with wine, Facebook Gifts rolls out to all U.S. users

The social network brings the first alcoholic beverage to its e-commerce offering.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
2 min read
Facebook Gifts now offers wine to users over 21.
Facebook Gifts now offers wine to users over 21. Facebook

With two weeks of Christmas shopping left, Facebook is making Facebook Gifts available to all users starting today.

"Now you can instantly send real gifts, digital gift cards, charitable donations and wine to your friends right from Facebook," the company said in a short blog post.

Catch that last item? Wine. For the first time, Facebook users will be able to send alcoholic beverages to one another using the service, so long as both sender and recipient are older than 21.


Wine partners include Amuse Bouche, Blackbird, Bonterra, Capture Wines, Clark-Claudon, David Family, Domaine Chandon, Goose Cross, Mondavi, Mutt Lynch, Recuerdo, Tasting Room, Terra Valentine, Titus, Twisted Oak, and Wine Country Gift Baskets.

Facebook said it has put multiple protections in place to ensure underage users can't send or receive wine. Anyone with a stated age under 21 won't see wine as a gift option. If a user who is 21 or older tries to send wine to an underage user, the first user will see a message that the friend "needs to be over 21 to receive this gift." Facebook said the wineries it is working with work with a company called ShipCompliant that verifies users' ages before sending the gift, and that the delivery company will check the recipient's identification to verify the age.

Facebook has made a big push for Gifts this holiday season, announcing a slew of new products last month during an event in New York. Later it added iTunes gift cards to the service.

Facebook takes a cut of each sale, though it won't say how much. CNET's Paul Sloan argued recently that e-commerce presents a big opportunity for Facebook, but that for now its main benefit is encouraging people to stay on Facebook longer.