Starbucks customers in the U.S. can now “tweet” a coffee to a friend

Now Starbucks customers in the U.S. can give their friends and family a coffee treat with the help of social media. The coffee giant is now rolling out a new loyalty program, Tweet-a-Coffee, which allows customers to buy a $5 gift card through Twitter.

First, a person will have to sync his or her Starbucks account to Twitter, linking a credit card to it. The second step is to tweet @tweetacoffee with the Twitter handle of the recipient—users can also add a short message to personalize the gift. The indicated person will receive the link to the $5 Starbucks card eGift right away and will be able to redeem it at a participating store.

To promote the launch of the new program, Starbucks will be giving away $5 gift cards to the first 100,000 users who will “tweet-a-coffee” using their Visa credit cards. The “give one, get one” promotion is running through November 6.

The initiative is quite a bold move for Starbucks—it has never launched its services in beta to public before. Starbucks is asking consumers to send feedback in order to improve the project that is already on the wheels.

This is not the first time Starbucks integrates electronic gift cards with social media. In early 2011, the coffee brand launched a similar program on Facebook—users were invited to load the card with the amount of $5,00—$100,00, and also personalize it with the recipient’s name and a special message of up to 160 characters. These gifts could be scheduled for some special occasion.