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article imageThe Sweet Side of Web Gifts: Give Real Chocolate Through Facebook

By David Silverberg     Feb 23, 2008 in Internet
A new Facebook application from Mars UK allows members to buy real chocolate bars for other members. The Celebrate app could be a trailblazer in a branding trend that will bring real gift-giving to the social network.
Digital Journal — Nothing says “let’s be Facebook friends” like giving a virtual gift. But Mars UK wants to take it a step further: its new Facebook application will allow Facebook members to give real chocolate bars to each other anywhere in the UK.
The new application, titled Celebrate, allows a consumer to buy a chocolate bar like Twix or Galaxy using PayPal. A Facebook message is then sent to the recipient who has to provide a cellphone number in exchange for a voucher code. The chocolate bar can be picked up any of the participating 12,500 PayPoint stores across the UK.
Marc Lewis, founder and chairman of The Light Agency, which created the app, said in a press release: "With more than 50 percent of Facebook users returning to the site each day, it gives us and Mars an unprecedented reach and opportunity to build a business highly relevant to people’s lives."
Celebrate is being heralded as the first time Facebook members can send real gifts to other members. While the app is only available in the UK now, it’s only a matter of time before Mars brings this intriguing idea to North American shores. Giving the gift of chocolate may be the kind of sticky feature that companies are looking for once they set up shop on the social network.
If Mars is diving into real gift-giving via Facebook, what’s stopping other companies from making their own apps? Imagine a progressive T-shirt company like Threadless creating their own widgets to send apparel to friends overseas. Or maybe you could buy a friend an iTunes movie as a way to say, “Here buddy, enjoy Grindhouse, happy birthday.”
The Mars UK app will only be the tip of an iceberg that will be dotting the social networks seas for years to come.
More about Mars, Facebook, Application, Twix