Every now and then we get a glimpse of the future from a short news story without a great deal of fanfare. We had one of those glimpses today with Facebook’s new Ship to Friends app. The Next Web (TNW) covered it in a quick read that gave us this pitch from Facebook:
Ready to send your friends important packages or surprise them with memorable gifts and keepsakes? The FedEx Ship to Friends app makes it easy.
- Select your friend
- Create the label
- Prepare your package at home
- Drop it off at a FedEx location
We do the rest.
What’s so new?
By itself, this isn’t a great deal more than what can be done on the FedEx website. Where it becomes brilliant is the link to the friend’s timeline telling them a package is on the way. A virtual back end to a physical front. Social connection meets Saturday delivery. It’s so easy.
Why do we care?
We care because Facebook’s commercial pages give connectivity to our favorite merchants through our ‘Likes’. We’re connected to our friends and family and their personal details as well. Why should we have to leave the screen to interact or transact?
Imagine sending a care package to the university student, a personalized gift for Mothers Day, done from the same interface and with one or two clicks, after being reminded by the ever-vigilant Facebook.
Imagine a small business without a shipping department, or maybe without a physical storefront, can send to any of their Facebook fans. Facebook and FedEx have turned a corner in becoming the virtual shipping department and post office.
We don’t have to imagine…we have it with this announcement.
How do they do it?
This is a new category we’ll call S2C…Social to Consumer. Two entities sharing data through slick integration that allows data to move back and forth seamlessly for the everyone. Expect this to explode as we see our connections as not just our friends but all our interactions in our life.
Have Facebook stock? Hold onto it.