There are countless virtual gift services today, yet physical gift cards just won't go away. Here's a pretty big endorsement for the latter: Facebook has just launched the "Facebook Card," which will let its users send real-life, reusable cards to friends while integrating with Facebook itself.
The social network giant has partnered up with several companies at launch—Target, Sephora, the Olive Garden and Jamba Juice—and will let users store the credit balances for these retailers all on the same gift card. You simply choose the gift card amounts you want to send to your friend, and a card arrives in their mail a few days later. Each card can store a combination of credits for each retailer; so for instance, one card might have gift balances of $100 at Sephora, $75 at Target, $50 at Olive Garden, and $8.25 at Jamba Juice.
Recipients can then monitor these balances online, whether on their smartphones or computers. The announcement of Facebook Cards comes right on the heels of the company's fourth quarter earnings report from earlier this week, which revealed that for the very first time, more people logged into Facebook on mobile than on desktop. It's not surprising, then, that the company would move to optimize this new service for easy mobile access.
Facebook Cards are set to roll in the U.S. over the next few days.