GO
Loading...

Facebook Rolls Out New Gifts Service

Facebook announced on Thursday it's expanding its online retail business with its latest product, the Facebook Gift Card.

The news comes on the heels of Facebook's better-than-expected earnings report on Wednesday, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's comments about the social media giant's foray into the retail business. (Read More: Facebook Now TRULY a Mobile Company, Beats Expectations.)

In the earnings call Wednesday night, Zuckerberg said Facebook was still trying to figure out its gift and online retail business. He also made a point to moderate expectations, saying online retail and other new experiments like Graph Search won't impact Facebook's bottom line any time soon.

Facebook first moved into e-commerce last quarter with 'Gifts,' a tool that allows users to give physical presents like cupcakes, wine or teddy bears. (Read More: Facebook Gives Gifts, Takes Away Vote.)

Source: Facebook

Here's how its latest gifts product works: Users pick a friend they'd like to send a gift card and can select from a range of retailers, including Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora and Target. Once the card is purchased, the friend is instantly notified. A few days later, he or she receives the card in the mail.

The cards are reusable and can hold multiple balances from different retailers. For example, if you are gifted $20 to Jamba Juice and a week later a different friend gives you $50 to Sephora, the new balance automatically shows up on your card. Facebook users can view their balance through Facebook and can monitor balances with mobile notification.

(Read More: Facebook Stock Holds Risk: Blodget.)

We'll see if Facebook can establish itself as a go-to-player in online retail—the more people who hand over their credit card numbers, the more likely they'll spend money on Facebook down the line.

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin; Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.