Gifties, A New Facebook Game, Has Real Rewards

By Justin Lafferty 

Remember SuperPoke!, when you could virtually bake a cake for a friend or throw a sheep at them? A new Facebook game, Gifties, revives the spirit of SuperPoke!, but with real-life payoffs. Now, when you give someone cookies, you might actually give them cookies, which would be delivered to their door. You could even end up giving the gift of a gift cards, flights, or a hotel stay.

Gifties, developed by Toluna, officially launched Wednesday. The game is pretty simple, allowing users to pick friends to give gifts to. Sometimes, these gifts will become real, depending on the value of a gift. While smaller gifts such as cookies and sheep (no, people don’t get a real sheep, it’s a plush) have a higher chance of becoming tangible, larger gifts like a Macy’s shopping spree or a two-night stay at a Marriott hotel are much rarer. The more gifts a user sends and receives, the higher the chance that something will become real.

When a user chooses to give a sheep, there’s another cool reward: For every 100 stuffed sheep that become real, Toluna will donate a real-life sheep to a family in need through World Vision Donations.

Toluna has partnered with several brands, such as United Airlines, Starbucks, and Sephora for this game:

Gifties encourages players to give gifts to those who have birthdays coming up, but anyone (even yourself) can be a recipient.

Tomer Weingarten, vice president of products for Toluna, spoke with AllFacebook about Gifties:

It was mostly kind of taking virtual gifting to the next level … We want it to be a marketing platform for the brands to expose an experiment for a new product, and we also want to try to tie in a few of our market research know-hows into this, to supply brands with the information to learn more about the users that engage with the product and how they interact with it.

By installing the game, users start out with 2,000 points, and they can earn more as they go along. If they are given a gift that turns out to simply stay virtual, they’re given more points. Toluna is not a newbie to online gift-giving, as the platform is growing by 100,000 users each month. Toluna offers users a chance to take surveys in exchange for points, which can be used for Gifties. This game is Toluna’s introduction into the Facebook platform.

Readers: Do you want to give Gifties a shot?