Friday, November 28, 2008

How to Provide No Value at All with Facebook

What provides no value to anyone? Facebook gifts. Why oh why do people pay money for these? They make less sense than gift cards, which make very little sense at all.

They make even less sense now that there's an application for Facebook that lets you give free gifts.

So what have Dell, eBay, and Sephora done? They've offered virtual gifts on Facebook, just in time for Christmas! Hey Merry Christmas, family, I bought you a small, pixellated image. You know, those things you can find abundantly through Google Image Search?

But here's the rub: people are actually buying these silly things. (Just like they buy giftcards)

Check this out:
More than 60 million gifts have been given since Facebook's Gift Shop launched in February 2007, which includes free gifts, sponsored gifts and paid gifts.
I don't understand the rationale behind this. Are people asking for these? Do little children write to Santa and ask, "I want a bicycle, a pony, and a small image to put on my Facebook profile?" No, of course they don't. Children undertstand that you can't do anything with a Facebook gift. And besides, the little Elves would just roll their eyes at such a request.

Is it supposedly "the thought that counts" that makes people buy these? Because thoughts are usually in the price range of, oh, between nothing and, very occasionally, a penny. Instead of a Facebook gift you could, I don't know, write a thoughtful letter. Most people don't do that these days. They should. Letters are awesome and people should write them more often.