Posted November 3, 2010 7:58 pm by with 1 comment

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Just in time for the holidays! The ability to spend even more time on Facebook! Amazon would like you to know that you can now send Amazon gift cards directly to your Facebook friends instead of having to use that pesky old email. Neat, huh?

To make sure everyone gets the picture, they’re even running a special Give 5, Get 5 promotion. Give five $1 mp3 gift certificates to five Facebook friends and the first 100,000 users will get a $5 Amazon gift certificate in return.

It’s a pretty smart way to get the masses to do your marketing for you. Five dollars is an amount most people won’t think twice about throwing away and since you’re required to send it to five people (you can’t send $5 to one person), Amazon has assured themselves a wide reach.

The downside here is that the buyer has to pay out the $5 even if their pals don’t use the GC. I have no idea if Amazon is likely to reach its 100,000 limit before the offer ends on November 30, so maybe there’s no risk of being out of pocket.

On the receiver’s end, in order to buy an Amazon mp3, you have to download their player which may be more than a lot of folks are willing to do for one free song.

The full gift card program allows you to purchase a card up to $5,000 (oh for a friend who loves me that much) which you can schedule to send up to a year in advance (really?) The notification of the gift then appears on your friend’s wall, though I believe you can make it private so only the two of you see it. By why wouldn’t you want the world to see your generous gift?

All of this is a huge step toward what’s being called “Social Shopping,” a concept that leaves me bewildered. How is sending a GC via Facebook any better than sending it via email. I suppose it’s a way around sending gifts to people whom you don’t know well enough to have their email address.

Come to think of it, I know several celebrities on Facebook who could well benefit from a program like this. Hey, Mike “The Situation,” sorry about you getting bumped off Dancing with the Stars, here’s an Amazon gift certificate so you can buy more tight shirts.

What do you think? Will Facebook connect up Amazon’s gift certificate sales? Or is “social shopping” a trend that will come and go?