Facebook 101: The Act of Giving with New Facebook Gifts

It seems like Facebook has a new feature just about as often as Apple puts out a new product…constantly! Within the next few weeks, Facebook will be adding the option to send real gifts to friends and family through the Facebook platform. The new Facebook Gifts feature will appear on all Facebook Timeline pages, potentially revealing information you aren’t accustomed to sharing with everyone you know. Here are some tips to help you utilize the feature without making you -or the recipient- uncomfortable!

Make sure the gift is appropriate for both the relationship and the recipient.

Birthday gifts to friends and “Thank You” gifts to helpful coworkers are always a good idea.  Sending your coworker a Starbucks card as opposed to an imported box of chocolates is probably a smart choice. Remember, you don’t want your gift to interfere with any “in a relationship” status.

Take advantage of the “private” option when you should

As a general rule, I would say the private option is probably the best. Even a public gift to your mother could put pressure on siblings who may have a more limited budget, for example. You can choose not to share the gift on your friend’s timeline by un-checking the “Share Gift on [Friend’s] Timeline” option at the top of the order-review page.

Be a gracious recipient

When a friend sends a gift through Facebook, the recipient will get a notification asking for a shipping address. They can also preview the gift; change the size, color or style; or exchange it for another gift of equal or lesser value. In general, if you need to exchange a gift because it doesn’t fit, that’s fine. But in most cases, play it safe — thank the giver and keep the gift.

Be prompt and polite

When you receive a gift notification, it will arrive in both your Facebook inbox and as an email to the address you’ve tied to your Facebook account. Promptly respond with your shipping address. After two weeks, the gift will be cancelled if you don’t reply. If you simply don’t want the gift, send a polite message to your friend letting them know why so they aren’t left hanging.  Otherwise, be sure to send a message letting them know you received it and you appreciate the gift!

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