In some caffeine-addicted circles Starbucks' announcement yesterday registered as important as that first venti cup of the day: the newly launched Tweet-a-coffee service allows Twitter users to to send $5 Starbucks Card eGifts to other Twitter friends and followers after connecting their Starbucks Rewards account with their Twitter account. It's possibly the biggest announcement in regards to gifting via Twitter, but not the first...
Currently in beta and for US-only customers, Starbuck's Tweet-a-coffee program won't deliver an actual cup of coffee to your soon to be grateful recipient, but instead sends a $5 Starbucks Card eGifts to Twitter friends and followers after connecting the account. If the service proves popular, expect to see similar big corporation food and drink vendors follow suit.
A year ago a small Australian company, CoffeeSend, launched basically the same service as Starbucks, albeit with much less fanfare and not tied to a single roaster. The service was to connect gift givers to coffee recipients using PayPal for redeeming or regifting, but alas, it appears the service is no longer available at the moment.
If you prefer cold and frothy to hot and caffeinated, there's Tweet-a-Beer, the byproduct of a drinking buddy partnership between creative agency, TenFour and Waggener Edstrom. As one might guess, you're not really sending a beer via Twitter, but a PayPal $5 deposit for a friend or soon-to-be-better-friend to use to quench his or her thirst via 144 characters.
Twegistry's selection of gift-by-tweet range from thoughtful (flowers), to sweet (yes, a tin of caramel corn, thank you very much), to wink-wink (lingerie). The variety of items is a bit scant and generic at the moment, and seems at best used for "oh #%&@, I forgot ____'s birthday/anniversary!" moments.
Twitgift's non-virtual gifting system is still in beta mode, and like all other services listed above, connects a Twitter username with a prepaid product system. Once the Twitter recipient confirms their gifted order and enter their address, Twitgift sends out the usually tasty treat (a peek into their Facebook page reveals an assortment ranging from artisanal chocolates, coffee beans, cupcakes in a jar, cookies, and other confections).
Which category of gift(s) would you like to see next via tweet?
(Image credits: Starbucks; tenfour + Waggener Edstrom; Twegistry; Twitgift)