Starbucks Coffee Co., Seattle, launched a new way for customers to give its coffee as a gift using the “Tweet-a-Coffee” Twitter program. Using the program, U.S. consumers can sync their Starbucks and Twitter accounts and tweet to @tweetacoffee as well as the Twitter handle of the gift recipient, which then will send the recipient a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift that can be redeemed at participating Starbucks stores in the United States. Recipients can print out the e-gift, show it directly on a mobile device, or load it onto a Starbucks mobile app to redeem it.

Building upon Starbucks’ digital gifting and engagement offerings, “Tweet-a-Coffee” will be an ongoing platform that will allow customers to engage with one another online to gift a Starbucks beverage spontaneously and respond proactively with gestures of encouragement, kindness and “just because,” the company says. Starbucks first launched its e-gifting platform in 2011 on and has extended that offering to Facebook, its iPhone mobile app and now Twitter.

Through Nov. 6, the first 100,000 customers who tweet a coffee using a Visa card also will receive a $5 Starbucks Card e-gift for themselves, courtesy of Visa and Starbucks.

“What’s so exciting about extending our e-gifting platform to Twitter is the open and real-time nature of the platform,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer of Starbucks, in a statement. “’Tweet-a-Coffee’ allows us to do something quite different in e-gifting in that people can now give the gift of Starbucks to anyone on Twitter in the moment. This can be between the closest of friends, the most distant of colleagues, or even between people who have not even had the chance to meet yet in person but have connected in some way on Twitter. We love the possibilities that the Twitter community can unlock to share acts of kindness with one another. ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ is a key next step as we innovate our social digital gifting offering.”

Joel Lunenfeld, vice president of brand strategy at Twitter, added: “Starbucks is really breaking ground here. Shared experiences, such as a television show, a sporting event or someone sharing a gift, are at the heart of the Twitter experience. It's also central to what it means to be a modern brand.”

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