You’ve probably heard that Facebook just hit the one billion user milestone. The company celebrated the announcement with a teary-eyed commercial and a typically understated blog post by the Zuck complete with a “one billion fact sheet.”
While the stats on the sheet are fascinating, they also bring attention back to Facebook’s biggest challenge: How can they turn that unbelievably huge data pool into real-world revenue?
Over the past two weeks, the company rolled out two new answers to that question in the form of “promoted ads” and “Facebook Gifts”, its new entry into the rapidly expanding world of digital retail after acquiring the social gifting app Karma. Now users can send their friends a lot more than hearts or Farmland invitations. It’s a bit of a twist on the DOA Facebook Deals plan: interested parties can choose from a list of products to send their friends and, in the most important update, the recipient can specify size, style, color, etc. so the gift best fits his or her individual tastes.
The big unknown right now is exactly what sort of gift selection the new feature will include.