June 18, 2013, 11:09 AM

Amazon wants to be a part of your birthday

Amazon announces a gift card service that involves Facebook.

Lead Photo

Amazon.com Inc. has launched a social gifting service for birthdays.

Amazon Birthday Gift allows a consumer while on Facebook to purchase a gift card for a friend who has an upcoming birthday and invite her Facebook friends to contribute to it. On the recipient’s birthday, Amazon posts an image of the gift card on her Facebook timeline with links and instructions for how to redeem it, Amazon says. Any messages to the recipient also appear on the timeline with the gift card.

A customer selects $1, $5, $10 or $25 to start a birthday gift card, Amazon says. Other friends may contribute in those increments. Customers can send gift cards from any web-enabled device, including mobile phones, the retailer says.

“Birthdays have always been social occasions, and sites like Facebook now make it possible for anyone around the world to send birthday wishes to friends—with Amazon Birthday Gift, those many individual messages can become a big gift,” says Steve Shure, Amazon vice president, traffic.

Birthday gift cards never expire, Amazon says. The No. 1 retailer in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide is also running a promotion to give $3 credits to shoppers with an Amazon account who purchase three or more birthday gifts and invite three or more friends to contribute. The credit posts to the consumer’s Amazon account. The promotion ends July 21.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it will extend the service for occasions other than birthdays.






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