Facebook has a new physical gift card that works like a regular gift card except you can use it at multiple retailers. But! It's not a cash-equivalent Visa you can spend everywhere. It's not even a stored value card that lets you spend the X-amount of money wherever you want within a Facebook-approved pool of retailers. It takes the saddest and lamest gift possible and makes it worse.

Instead of all the logical permutations a Facebook Gift Card could take here's how it works. The person giving the gift selects from a list of participating retailers—at launch: Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target—and then gives the gift only to that retailer. So it's just the same lame old Target gift card dressed up with a Facebook logo. But since you can buy it online without about three seconds of thought, it doesn't even give the slightest illusion that you care.


There is a potential upside, though. Assuming everybody in the world starts using Facebook for their lazy, last-minute gifting, all of your balances will be tied to your Facebook account and a single reusable card. No more post-Christmas wallet fat! Plus, checking your balances would be easy, and if you lose your card, deactivating and replacing it can be done from a service you already use everyday.

So much for the upsides, this idea's white elephant. Oh well. [Facebook via AllThingsD]