We have this pretty appalling Christmas tradition in my family called “The Hate Pile.” It’s pretty self-explanatory but we try to have fun with it. Because someone always buys someone else some really strange/inappropriate/what-were-you-thinking gift that has to be exchanged.
This morning I blogged about Treater, a new social gift giving app that lets users select “treats” to give to their Facebook friends. The point of the app is sort of to prove you know exactly what your best friend or close relative needs at any moment. The new Toast app for IOS is kind of the opposite approach; it’s a mobile wish list that lets users make specific wishes (in terms of item, location, store, price) so there’s no confusion ever about what to get them for birthdays/holidays.
The goal of Toast seems to be way more specific than, say, Pinterest. Because when you make a wish list you’re not saying “Oh, that’s pretty” or “Oh, I’ll make that some day.” You’re saying “I want that. Now.”
I like Toast because a lot of people use lists to buy/request gifts. It saves a lot of time and, ultimately, money. And Toast makes writing out your birthday wishlist a lot less obnoxious. I’ll be interested to see what direction Toast takes in this growing world of social gifting/wishing/pinning – especially since the launch of Facebook Gifts. Some toasters are wishing for “nice weather,” which sort of defeats the purpose of wishing for tangible things your friends can actually give you.
There’s something new on the social, mobile gift giving horizon! Welcome Treater, a new free app for iPhone and Android that lets you give “treats” like cupcakes, coffee, or trendy articles of clothing to your Facebook friends. How does it work?
Pick a Facebook friend you want to gift. Friends with upcoming birthdays are suggested, but you can make anyone’s day.
Pick your treat! You can choose quite a variety of treats ranging from single servings of comfort food to luxury yoga gear. First you choose the category, then you get specific: Coffee-> Starbucks -> Grande Iced Espresso.
Write a message to send with your treat and perhaps a picture of your sweet little face. Determine whether or not you want to post the treat to your recipient’s Facebook wall.
Determine how you want your treat delivered (text or email).
Pay with your credit card. You’ll cover the cost of the treat, plus a 99 cent service charge.
Boom, done. You’ve just sent a super-thoughtful gift. Your friend will receive a link to a gift card that can be pulled up and redeemed from any smart phone like a store gift card. And if they decide to get a tall latte instead of a grande, that extra money will be stored away in a virtual “piggy bank” so it can be redeemed later to buy more treats.
Treater is a lot like Giftly in that it focuses on personal gifts that mean something as a pick-me-up for friends you really know well. Instead of just giving a gift card, you’re giving a warm vanilla latte or a great burger. Unlike Giftly, there are some limitations on what you can gift. You have to pick a specific cup of coffee from a specific vender instead of saying, “Hey! Here’s five bucks; use it to get that double soy extra sugar pumpkin banana chocolate concoction you love from your favorite obscure coffee store.” But, while there are limitations on what you can buy, there’s still a great selection from which to choose and the recipient of your gift will still appreciate the thought and care you put into selecting something special. (They’ll also appreciate not having to pay for it up front and then wait to be reimbursed as they’d have to with Giftly.)