Facebook keeps gift-giving digital, pulls out physical goods from online store

facebook keeps gift giving digital pulls out physical goods from online store card

When you have the opportunity (and the self-control) to veer away from your Facebook News Feed and explore other parts of the social network, you might be surprised to find out that Facebook actually has an online shop called Gifts (or maybe you’re not that surprised… after all, at least one Facebook friend celebrates a birthday everyday, and with every announcement is a suggestion to get said friend a gift). Users have had the opportunity to purchase stuff for their pals and loved ones since Gifts launched last year, and this included actual, physical products that can be delivered to the recipient’s doorstep. However, due to the low demand from users, the company has decided to keep Gifts virtual, concentrating more on digital items and redesigning the platform to primarily carry gift cards.

“Since launching Gifts in December last year, roughly 80 percent of gifts have been gift cards,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. In line with this, the company is putting the spotlight on its own Facebook Card by offering more digital codes and making it 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.” The Facebook Card is a reusable gift card that can be used both online and in-store. When Facebook first launched it last January, users had the option of buying presents from retailers like Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target. Today, more merchants are associated and available through the social network branded gift card, including restaurants like Olive Garden and Outback Steakhouse, home improvement shops like Pier 1 Imports and The Home Depot, and fashion stores like Express and DSW.

This move is good business sense on Facebook’s part. The ability to sell and deliver physical goods requires a lot of manpower, not to mention a tried-and-true process of product fulfillment – much like the one already in place at eBay and Amazon – that will be tough to replicate in a short amount of time. This is also not the first time Facebook has axed an effort in the name of ecommerce – in 2011, the company decided to shutter the Groupon-inspired Facebook Deals after only four months of testing.

Looks like we get to keep a little bit of the real world off Facebook for the time being. 

Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Social Media

Hotel chain offers an Instagram ‘sitter’ who will post photos for you

If the pressure to post stunning Instagram photos is ruining your vacations, then how about hiring a local Instagram influencer to do the job for you while you go off and enjoy yourself? Well, such a service now exists.
Social Media

Ride the rails and share your stories with Amtrak’s new social media residency

Amtrak is looking for travel fans with a knack for telling stories on social media. The new Amtrak social media residency program wants amateur travelers to share photos, video, and written content from aboard long-distance trips.
Social Media

Hangouts isn’t being hung out to dry in 2020, Google says

According to a report, Google may shut down Google Hangouts by 2020. While Hangouts was once Google's top-tier messaging app, the app has since been neglected in favor of Android Messages.
Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.