Amazon just rolled out a new online tool called Friends & Family Gifting. At a base level, it lets you enter names, birthdays, interests and other details about the people close to you. It then sends a reminder when their birthdays are coming up, and offers gift suggestions.

But the interesting part is what happens when you connect it to your Facebook account. The service lets you quickly import any of the Facebook friends to whom you would want to give gifts. It gets their birthday info from Facebook, tells you which of them are “connected on Amazon” and automatically finds their Amazon wish lists, if they have them.

After importing friends, Amazon’s algorithms suggest additional items based on their wish lists and Facebook likes. It also takes into account the age of the person, for easier gifting to kids.

I’ve been trying the service out this morning, and it works well so far, letting me smoothly import my Facebook friends — and, if I so choose, spam my own Facebook wall with news of every friend I import.

It’s just in time for the holidays, but the killer app here seems to be birthdays. Of course, from a business perspective, Amazon is trying to increase the chance that you’ll buy those gifts through its e-commerce storefront. For me, at least, it will probably work. You can access the service here.

Here’s what the Facebook import feature looks like.

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  • Guest

    Very cool! Thank you to Amazon for continuing to innovate.

  • smartone2

    I believe discovery is going to be the future of social

    There is a great facebook recommendation engine app called recomendo.

    because instead of gift for others it helps you discover things that YOU like.

    In addition you can designate friends as tastemakers in specific categories and that influences what is recommended to you.

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