App sends a beer to a friend via mobile phone

SAN FRANCISCO In the world of Facebook, where a popular activity is sendingyour friends virtual gifts, buying a digital beer doesn’t quite cutit.

That’s why Steve Johnson, a San Francisco entrepreneur, createda new application for Facebook and mobile phones called Bartab thatallows users to send a real drink to a friend via their mobilephone, bridging the divide between social networks and the realworld.

Bartab works by allowing a user to buy a $1 drink voucher goodat 60 bars in San Francisco. The recipient receives a drink ticketvia a text message or iPhone nfl jerseys They just show the ticketto a bartender and then pay a $1 pouring fee and get the drink fora fraction of what it normally costs.

“Facebook has been charging one buck for virtual drinks butwe’re selling real drinks for a buck,” said Johnson, the presidentof San Francisco’s web developer Webtab, which came up with theapp. “Why send them a fake drink when you can send a realdrink?”

The service had a test run in May and is now moving forward withan official release, complete with an updated design. Skip Ziobron, owner of pianobar Martuni’s in San Francisco, said he hopes to use Bartab tointroduce his place to a new generation of patrons unfamiliar withpiano bars. And he likes the idea of reviving the dying practice ofbuying drinks for friends.”I don’t see a lot of people buying drinks for each otherlike the old days,” Ziobron said. “This may change that.”

“It’s cool, the idea that you can send real things virtually,”he said. “It might be a trend of real transactions between socialnetworks instead of just giving virtual things.”