Facebook, Instagram Introduce Gift Card Feature to Help Small Businesses


In an attempt to support local businesses, a new gift card feature for South African businesses is now available on Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has created this new feature to help local businesses, such as restaurants, fitness studios, salons, bookshops and bakeries as they each navigate their way through the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown.

Instagram will also be launching Food Orders, making it easier for businesses to get support from their customers. 

Where to find Gift Cards 

  • Consumers can find offers from participating merchants through a “Support Local Businesses” ad in their Facebook feeds
  • The Gift Card button on merchants’ Instagram profiles  
  • Through the Gift Card sticker in Instagram stories

“We know small businesses in South Africa have been deeply impacted by the local outbreak of Covid-19, and this new gift card feature is just one of the many ways we continue to support them” said Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa.

She says with the availability of Gift Cards through News Feeds, Instagram Profiles and in Instagram Stories, this new experience won’t only give small businesses the cash injection they urgently need, but it will also enable people to continue to support businesses as they reopen and start to recover from the crisis. 

How it works

  • Using the brand-new Support Small Business sticker on Instagram or #SupportSmallBusiness hashtag on Facebook. 
  • Posts that use the sticker will be added to a shared Instagram story highlighting similar posts from all the accounts you follow. 

To put the spotlight on those supporting the fight against the pandemic, creators on Facebook can now also tag a post as being “in support of” a specific small business.

Facebook continued to say that they will be posting COVID-19-related information, tools and tips for small businesses in both the Facebook and Instagram apps. 

Businesses can access this information through the Facebook app shortcuts or their Instagram business profile.

Nearby Business

At the start of May, Facebook introduced a new section called Businesses Nearby, which allows users to see the latest posts from businesses within a certain geographic. Allowing users to view the businesses’ current hours and pickup/delivery options and make a booking or send them a message.

In a blog post, Facebook described this as a way to allow users to “more quickly find essential products and services”. It also aims to help businesses get “more virtual foot traffic as they move online to stay open.”

“Small businesses will continue to play an important role in the economic recovery after the pandemic, which is why it is critical to help them keep the lights on and save jobs. We know when businesses do better, economies do better.”