The drinks vouchers Facebook app – it's come to this

Every week, for the next few weeks, we’ll be giving an intern a chance to shine on Techcrunch UK. The below post is written by this week’s intern, Grant Bell, a young entrepreneur (see below).

The pointlessness of most Facebook applications knows no bounds but at least here’s one that appears to be the the first application that enables people to send each other alcohol.

GetThemIn is, currently a Facebook app which lets you send drinks vouchers to friends. Once installed you select your poison, the friend you wish to intoxicate and then pay. You can alert your chosen friend through a text messaging service provided. But there’s a simple way the makers have addressed the issue of teenagers sending eachother bottles of White Lightning. Your friend has to redeem the code through the app, get sent a coupon via snail mail, then take that coupon to a participating store, which is obviously going to check the age of the recipient. Over 1,500 participating stores in the UK, including Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack and Haddows. GetThemIn is the brainchild of Jay Feeney, entrepreneur with promotional experience in product and event management for bars and clubs in Scotland.

There are some issues however, apart from this being an app with less than instant gratification. I would have liked to have seen the inclusion of PayPal as a payment method. The app currently only supports Google Checkout. Although it does support almost all major credit and debits cards, GetThemIn is the type of app you would use at a whim and you don’t want to have to be signing up to a new online payment service like Checkout.

Virtual gifts have been popular on Facebook and are being lauded as a future business model, but at least this is a little more ‘real,’ however so take that at face value is to miss the power that virtual goods will have in the future. And I fail to see how this app is anything other than a marketing gimmick from the participating stores. There doesn’t seem to be any real advantage over buying from an online supermarket and just changing the delivery address, or are we missing something here?

GetThemIn aims to be an app for social sites in the US, Canada, Australia and Ireland and aims to expand to Bebo, Friendster, Hi5, MySpace, Orkut and LinkedIn, though I don’t quite see the how Bebo (largely teens) or LinkedIn (largely business) would let this app on their platform.