December 12, 2012, 2:24 PM

Amazon launches a social media-fueled gifting tool

The service resembles applications offered by Wal-Mart and CafePress.

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Following the lead of retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and CafePress, Amazon.com Inc. today launched a Facebook application that offers shoppers gift suggestions based on the information those consumers share on the social network.

Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, aims for shoppers to use the tool, called Friends & Family Gifting, to organize their gift lists, find gift ideas and receive reminders of their friends’ birthdays and special occasions, as well as share gift lists via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or e-mail. Payment network MasterCard Worldwide is sponsoring the application.

The application, with the permission of a Facebook user, shows the shopper friends who have created Amazon.com wish lists along with their birthdays, as well as other friends and their birthdays. The tool offers gift suggestions based on consumers’ posts and Likes on Facebook. Shoppers can also use the tool without giving Amazon access to their Facebook accounts by manually entering their friends’ information, such as birthdays, interests and genders.

“Friends & Family Gifting on Amazon makes gift-giving fun and easy,” says Andy Rosenbaum, senior manager of wish list and gifting for Amazon. “You will never forget a birthday and will have great gift ideas ready for this holiday season and special occasions year-round.”

Friends & Family Gifting resembles Wal-Mart’s Shopycat Facebook application that launched last year and the Likeable Gifts Facebook service that e-retailer CafePress launched last month. However, Amazon builds on those tools by enabling shoppers to access consumers’ Amazon wish lists. Moreover, consumers can also use the tool’s manual option to enter information for children under 13, who are too young to be on Facebook.

The application’s launch comes just a day after Facebook announced that it has rolled out Facebook Gifts to all U.S. consumers. The tool enables U.S. shoppers to buy presents for friends on the social network.

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