The Gifts service that was launched by the big daddy of social networking sites in September 2012 will see a revamp now. Instead of helping you purchase actual items to be sent to your friends, Facebook will now simply focus on advising you to buy digital gift cards for them. The codes on these virtual credit cards can then be used by your friends to buy from brands and businesses that they ‘Like’ on Facebook.
The digital cards were already a part of Facebook Gifts but now that the physical gifts scheme is gone, FB will only concentrate on one aspect. Since they are more economical to manage, it is viable for the social networking site to invest in them. When Facebook initially launched the gift program about a year back, it was to challenge Amazon – the ecommerce giant. But not many users displayed interest in sending gifts and so the strategy failed.
Facebook had started with gifts such as sweets, stuffed toys and gift cards for Starbucks and Uber. It later added alcoholic drinks and iTune Gift cards. But the sales were not very encouraging and in Q4, 2012, the site reported total revenue of only $5 million from Gifts and User Promoted Posts.
Mark Zuckerberg’s site then experimented with a new concept and brought its very own Facebook Gift Card. This was a credit card type plastic piece that could be bought for friends. FB mails it to them and the credit loaded on the card gives the user the ability to purchase their favorite items.
Over the past one year Facebook observed that while 20 percent of all gifts sold were physical products, the Gift Cards particularly for iTunes and Starbucks turned out to be big sellers. It is also hard to suggest products explicitly for a friend but thanks to data on your friends’ Likes, location and social graph, it is simple to recommend a brand or entire business that helps you buy digital gift codes and Facebook Gift Card credit for them.
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So that sums it for the popular social networking site. But the fact is that there are still some people out there who like to give pleasant surprises and send real gifts to their loved ones instead. Thankfully, there are a number of intuitive gift apps for same. From chocolates and flower bouquets to books and fashion accessories – you can send a range of gifts if you have that right app on your mobile or tablet. With a sensible use of technology, it is possible to remember and celebrate events that may be priceless for you and your loved ones.