Facebook Will Shut Down Its Physical Gifts Service This Week

The social network's experiment in gifting physical goods to friends comes to an end this week, due to low user demand.

Less than a year after Facebook unveiled its gifting service, Facebook Gifts, the service is pivoting to offer only digital gifts to all users starting this week.

The social network initially introduced Facebook Gifts as a way for users to send their friends both physical and digital gifts through the mail and the platform. But Gifts head Lee Linden tells AllThingsD only 20% of users were sending physical gifts through Facebook's retail partners like Magnolia Bakery, Brookstone's, and Dean & DeLuca—with the other 80% opting for gift cards from retailers like Starbucks, iTunes, and Target.

Facebook does, however, still offer a product designed for real-world use called the Facebook Card, which allows you to preload a single card with different amounts of money to spend at businesses like Jamba Juice and Sephora.

Facebook also most recently began testing a new mobile payments feature that would let users automatically use their payment information already stored on Facebook to make purchases in other apps.

[Image: Flickr user FutUndBeidl]

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  • Matt

    I thought it was a good idea because it was based on keywords like "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Anniversary".  They just need to open it up for things like sharing coupons or buying beers for a buddy.

  • Benjamin Zalasky

    This is a mistake. It was a great service. The problem is that a lot of people have diluted networks. I wouldn't buy a gift for 90% of the people in my network, but I did use it as a last minute option for birthday gifts for close friends and family.