Buying someone a coffee is a small gesture of kindness, but you usually need to be with a friend to make it. However, starting Tuesday, Starbucks has a solution: Just pay for your faraway friend's coffee over Twitter.
The new program, appropriately called "Tweet a Coffee," works like this: To tweet a coffee at a friend, first you must sync your Starbucks account to your Twitter, which you can do here. Then, tweet at the person you want to buy a cup of joe, formatting the tweet "@Tweetacoffee to [your friend's Twitter handle]."
He or she should then receive a $5 gift card from you. Your friend can redeem it directly from his or her phone at participating Starbucks.
Right now you can only tweet-a-coffee in the U.S.:
Once the recipient views the gift, Starbucks emails the gift-giver the following message: "Thanks for sending [recipient] a $5.00 USD Starbucks Card eGift through the tweet-a-coffee program. Your friend has viewed it and will soon be enjoying their favorite beverage (and thinking what a nice person you are)."
Also, until Nov. 6, if you're one of the first 100,000 customers to tweet-a-coffee using a Visa card, you'll get a $5 gift card as well.
Mashable points out that Starbucks launched a similar program in 2011 with Facebook.