Facebook launched its gift service back in September 2012, allowing Facebook users to buy their friends a gift over the social network. While this feature won’t be going entirely way, one big change is being implemented: material gifts (that is, gifts of a physical nature) will no longer be available, with only gift cards remaining.
Previously, users could buy physical items and have them sent to the targeted friend, the options being things like a teddy bear or flowers. Those gift options have been done away with, and in their place is exclusively digital content – a Starbucks gift card, for example. In addition, the number of brands featured in the service will be boosted.
Said a Facebook spokesperson to the folks over at CNET: “Since launching Gifts in December last year, roughly 80 percent of gifts have been gift cards. So, we’re now adding more digital codes and making the Facebook Card redeemable at more merchants. As a part of this shift in focus to Facebook Card and digital codes, we’re also phasing out physical gifts.”
Then there’s Facebook mobile payment system, which surfaced earlier this month. Overall, this allows the gift system to remain in place, but removes some of the issues – financial or otherwise – physical gifts present without completely getting rid of the service. This works well for Facebook users who aren’t likely to miss the physical goods, considering that most select the digital offerings anyway.