It looks like Facebook and Apple accept been in couples therapy.
Here’s the latest to appear of the pair’s bigger relationship: You can now acquirement iTunes credits for accompany on Facebook application Gifts, the amusing giant’s above amusing alms e-commerce initiative.
It works the aforementioned as all added purchases fabricated through the Gifts product. Choose an account to accelerate to a acquaintance through Facebook (in this case, the iTunes agenda gift), and you’ll pay via your acclaim agenda through Facebook. Appropriate now, best of the options Facebook offers are concrete appurtenances like food, toys and apparel.
Lately, however, Facebook has geared up on agenda allowance agenda offerings. The aggregation apparent a alternation of new partnerships at a contempo event, including subscriptions to Hulu, Pandora and Rdio. And the covering affiliation Facebook launched Gifts with was the Starbucks deal, which lets users accelerate coffee cards to their accompany via the service.
Facebook’s abysmal advance into e-commerce appears appropriate as anniversary arcade division bliss off — it’s no accompaniment that the iTunes accord is actuality appear on Cyber Monday — advancing aloof afore what is accepted to be a banderole retail sales season.
It additionally comes in the deathwatch of a rather animal division of abatement for shares of Facebook. Investors accept questioned the company’s adeptness to accomplish acceptable abiding acquirement from ads delivered to desktop and adaptable users, and as a result, we’ve apparent Facebook’s banal bulk bargain to about bisected of what it debuted at this summer. Facebook Gifts is a multi-platform action beyond the Web and adaptable devices, not carefully bound to breeding acquirement primarily from desktop users as is the case for the aggregate of Facebook’s absolute ad products.
So, does bringing Apple on as a Gifts accomplice absolutely bulk to architecture out addition allusive acquirement stream?
Perhaps, according to a little back-of-the-envelope math. Per Apple’s aftermost 10-K, the aggregation generated $7.5 billion from the iTunes Store during budgetary year 2012. Industry sources say that added than $2 billion of that acquirement comes anon from iTunes allowance cards. Sources additionally acquaint us that absolute retailers who advertise iTunes allowance cards (like Best Buy, Target and the like) usually accumulate about 13 percent of anniversary gift-card dollar sold.
So that adds up to around, say, a $260 actor bazaar admeasurement for concrete iTunes cards breach amid accommodating retailers, of which Facebook will now be an alive participant. That pie is baby compared to Facebook’s all-embracing acquirement ($3.71 billion in 2011), but addition agenda artefact with beneath aerial and aerial appeal is absolutely a win for Facebook’s Gifts department. Not to acknowledgment the abeyant addition Facebook’s massive billion-user administration could accord on iTunes gift-card sales overall.
But the better takeaway actuality isn’t in the numbers; it’s in the actuality that this accord alike exists at all.
Facebook and Apple accept had a long, afflicted history of alive together, decidedly back Steve Jobs was Apple’s CEO. Perhaps the best agitating archetype came back the two companies bootless to appear to agreement on amalgam Ping — Apple’s bedevilled iTunes-based amusing arrangement — with the Facebook API, due to what Jobs told us again were “onerous terms” that Facebook set forth.
With Jobs’s casual aftermost year and Tim Cook now at the helm, initiatives like Facebook iOS and OSX affiliation and today’s iTunes Gifts affiliation arresting a new era in Facebook-Apple relations — aloof as Cook appropriate would be the case onstage at our D: All Things Agenda appointment this accomplished spring.
The accord is no agnosticism still complicated. But Monday’s advertisement is one footfall afterpiece to accord amid the two tech giants — aloof in time for the holidays.
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