Facebook Rolls Gifts Out To More Users, Announces New Partners At FAO Schwarz Event

By David Cohen 

Tis the season for giving, and Facebook is on board, announcing at its rescheduled event at iconic toy store FAO Schwarz in New York Thursday night that its Gifts feature is being rolled out to more users, and introducing several new retail partners.

Retailers now on board with Gifts include babyGap, Fab.com, Brookstone, Dean & Deluca, L’Occitane, Lindt, ProFlowers, Random House, and NARS Cosmetics.

In addition, for Facebook users who like to sample or share the grape, the social network announced that wine from Robert Mondavi Winery and Chandon would soon be added to Gifts.

Finally, not all additions to Gifts need to be wrapped, as subscriptions to online services such as Hulu Plus, Pandora, and Rdio joined the party.

Facebook said the expansion will continue in the coming weeks, both in terms of users with access to Gifts and more partners adding their wares.

How will the ramp-up of Gifts affect third-party providers of gifting services and gift cards on Facebook? Hjalmar Winbladh, co-founder and CEO of social gifting application Wrapp, welcomed the news:

Even though we’re both offering social gifting services, the good news for us is that we’re in very different businesses. Facebook Gifts is clearly an ecommerce platform for competing with retailers for sales, whereas Wrapp is a friend-to-friend marketing platform that more than 180 top retailers like H&M, Gap, Sephora, and Reebok are now using in eight countries to get potential customers online, into brick-and-mortar stores and shopping, by letting friends give friends promotional gift cards with no strings attached.

Readers: Do you have access to Gifts on Facebook yet, and what companies would you like to see the social network add as partners?