Facebook Gifts is laid to rest

The social network scraps its gift-giving service, saying it wants to focus on helping businesses and developers boost their sales via the site.

screen-shot-2014-07-29-at-5-45-33-pm.png
The first incarnation of Facebook Gifts let users send teddy bears, cupcakes, and socks to friends. Then gift cards took over. Facebook

Facebook already wounded its Gifts service last year when it stopped selling physical goods and went with only gift cards, and now it's letting the entire feature go to the grave. The social network confirmed Tuesday that Gifts will be no more.

"We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook," a spokesperson told CNET.

Gifts was launched in September 2012 as a way for users to buy real gifts for friends through the social network. The gifts -- which included items like cupcakes, stuffed animals, fresh flowers, and even a bacon-of-the-month-club membership -- came from more than 100 retail partners.

Less than a year after it opened up its gift shop, however, Facebook announced it would no longer sell physical goods. Instead, the social network started filling the shelves of its Web and mobile marketplace with digital gift cards from companies like Starbucks, Target, and Apple's iTunes store.

It's apparent the Gifts service wasn't doing much for the company. So, a refocus on helping businesses boost their sales -- rather than being an online marketplace itself -- might seem to make sense.

However, Facebook isn't giving up on product sales entirely. Earlier this month, the company announced it was testing a "Buy" button that lets users purchase items through ads they see on their feeds. Instead of sending users to merchants' websites, Facebook will take care of the purchases directly within its network.

Facebook's Gifts service is officially shuttering August 12. Those people who have outstanding gifts will still be able to redeem them after that date.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)
Top-rated reviews of the week (pictures)
Best iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases
Make your own 'Star Wars' snowflakes (pictures)
Bento boxes and gear for hungry geeks (pictures)