Innovation That Matters

Buy a (real) beer for a Facebook friend


It may be better to give than to receive, but for those on the receiving end, there’s no doubt real-world gifts are better than virtual ones. No surprise, then, that we’re seeing the emergence of more and more ways for online friends to give each other offline presents. The latest? GetThemIn, which allows UK Facebook users to send each other real alcoholic beverages. An assortment of wine, beer, champagne, spirits and specialty drinks are available through GetThemIn from brands including Heineken, Newcastle Brown, Blossom Hill, Harvey’s Bristol Cream and Courvoisier; also available are a variety of complementary snacks. Users simply add the GetThemIn application to their Facebook account, and then choose what gift they’d like to send to which friend. Payment takes place through Google checkout, and users compose a message to let their friend know. An egift is instantly sent by Facebook notification and text message, which can be redeemed at any time in exchange for a product voucher that’s sent through the post. That voucher, in turn, can then be taken to any GetThemIn participating store–there are hundreds across the UK, GetThemIn says–and used to collect the physical product. GetThemIn has been officially granted the DrinkAware trust trademark license and will be donating a percentage of its profits to substance-abuse treatment center COUNTED4. Meanwhile, the company–which just launched in the UK last week–is already working on launching its application in the US, Canada, Australia and Ireland as well as on Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MySpace, Orkut and LinkedIn. Increasingly OFF=ON and ON=OFF, as our sister site would say; what other real-world gifts could be brought to the social networking world….? (Related: Real candy for virtual friendsReal flowers for virtual palsSnail mail app for Facebook users.)



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