As part of the ongoing efforts to monetize Facebook, the social network will soon be rolling out a new Gifts feature. However, when Facebook Gifts hits accounts in the next few weeks, it might be worth considering how you play things with regards to private/public gifts.
When you buy a present for a friend using Facebook Gifts, you are given the option of posting the gesture to their profile or keeping the purchase private. So think what the potential fall-out might be if you sent something like a box of chocolates to a friend from work who is in a relationship. It could be a completely innocent, platonic gesture but if and when the recipient’s other half sees it posted to both your timeline and that of their partner, assumptions may be made and things could get ugly. This would be a time to send the gift privately.
However, it might be perfectly acceptable to publicly send a £5 Starbucks voucher when for example a co-worker or someone you manage has stayed late at work to complete a task that was dumped on them at 5:15pm on a Friday. It’s an understandable gesture, and it might even encourage greater productivity among the rest of the workforce!
So it’ll really all come down to a personal judgement call on the part of the giver. If you’re buying something really nice for a parent’s birthday but don’t want to make your siblings of more modest means feel guilty or awkward, it’s probably best not to share the gift (and the hefty price-tag) on Facebook where everyone will see it.
Have any of you used Facebook to send gifts in the past? Will you be using the new Facebook Gifts feature when it is released in a few weeks?