It’s a Wrap for Facebook Gifts (July 30, 2014)
Facebook is shuttering its electronic gift card service after nearly two years, shifting its focus to more recent e-commerce initiatives. The social network’s Facebook Gifts platform—which offers e-gift cards for merchants, including Starbucks and iTunes—will cease operating on Aug. 12, according to an announcement. Gift cards with balances still will be accepted by merchants after that date.
Rolled out beginning in September 2012, Facebook Gifts originally enabled users to purchase and send digital gift cards and physical merchandise to friends through the social media network. Less than a year later, the service was scaled back to offer digital gift cards only; Facebook said at the time that digital gift cards comprised 80 percent of sales through the service. The company has been quiet about the platform since, not mentioning it in recent earnings calls.
With Facebook Gifts now in the rearview, Facebook said it will use the lessons learned from the program “to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the Web, on mobile and directly on Facebook.” The company recently unveiled several e-commerce initiatives, including its new “Buy” button, which enables users to make purchases directly through Facebook. And last year, the company debuted the “Autofill with Facebook” feature, which enables shoppers to save steps when shopping via mobile apps by automatically populating payment and info forms using information stored with Facebook.
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