November 28, 2012
Apple’s ITunes Now Available Through Facebook Gifts
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
An Apple/Facebook partnership would have made the most sense in 2010 when Apple launched their unsuccessful social network, Ping. Apple had even written Facebook integration into Ping, but the social giant quickly blocked it. Steve Jobs later told All Things D that Facebook had "onerous terms that we could not agree to.”
Now, with Facebook integration in both iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, Apple and Facebook seem at least willing to work together. Here is another sign the two are trying to work together: Facebook has begun to offer iTunes cards through their Facebook Gifts program.
On Monday, Facebook announced that those users who have access to the new Gifts section can begin sending their friends iTunes gift cards in $10, $15, $25 and $50 increments. Those who buy these cards for their friends can even make suggestions as to which apps, movies or songs to purchase with their gift card.
Facebook launched their Gift Store in September in an apparent attempt to find more revenue streams.
Facebook normally takes a percentage from every gift sold, the amount of which depends on how much the gift costs. Apple is also accustomed to taking 30% off the top whenever they make a sale. There were no specifics mentioned in Facebook´s announcement, so it´s unclear how much each company is walking away with after a Facebook user purchases one of these digital cards for their friends.
When Facebook first announced Gifts, they began with only a few retailers, such as Jawbone Electronics, Magnolia Bakery and Starbucks Coffee Company. The prices of these gifts ranged from $5 to several hundred dollars. Facebook sends a message to the recipient of the gift before it´s shipped to validate the address and ensure the person will receive the gift. Once the gift arrives, the recipient has the option to return it for another color or size.
Some have wondered if Facebook has now placed Amazon in their sights with this move. As it stands, Facebook Gifts is only getting started. However, if they continue to sign partners to this deal, they could become a very viable competitor for the world´s largest online retailer. While others see this as a potential move against Amazon, some have said they doubt Facebook Gifts will ever take off.
Facebook has often run into problems when their privacy policies are concerned. Most recently, Facebook´s Sponsored Stories have been making news as Facebook is looking to settle a potential class action lawsuit concerning these stories. Some Facebook users discovered last year that their friends´ pictures were being used in ads. When these friends would “like” a company, Facebook would then take the “like” and use that person´s picture and thumbs up of approval in an ad tailored towards that person´s friends.
Practices like this have made Facebook´s users concerned when it comes to the way the social network handles their information, and rightfully so. With the relationship between Facebook and their members so complicated, many wonder if users will ever embrace Facebook Gifts and trust the social giant with their credit card numbers and purchase history.