Facebook Gift Shop Closing Its Doors

facebook closes doors on gifts

The relentless  “Please accept this gift — I got it just for you” requests are going to be a thing of the past. The Facebook virtual gifts that have taken over our wall (along with Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc) appear to not have survived the economic downturn as effective August 1, 2010, the Facebook Gift Shop is closing its doors. Is this a Bold or welcomed move?

Facebook Gift Shop Closure

This, for many, is a welcomed closure, however, this seems like a bold move by Facebook considering the incredible growth and overwhelming usage throughout the world. One can only speculate that the popularity of giving gifts has diminished with the ability to block Facebook apps and gift givers were losing money/Facebook Credits. The gifts that were given and accepted will remain on your wall even after the store closes.

Facebook Credits

Facebook Credits, the virtual currency for premium items, games and apps, was born from the “gift credits.”  Originally, gift credits were $1.00 each and the gifts were assigned a dollar value. Thereafter, it was changed to Facebook Credits which is a system whereby users would purchase 100 credits $1.00 and could use the credits to give a gift or “reward” by giving them 10 credits for posting a good status update. While I  have never been rewarded with credits for a good status update, I cannot confirm if this is still something that is practiced. Then again, I have never purchased credits nor sent a gift.

This is a good move by Facebook as they are able to concentrate their resources on the games. The partnership with 7-11 for the Farmville branded water and I believe Big Gulp cups certainly was an indicator of the popularity of the games and also could be hint why the gift store is closing.

What do you think? Is this just a chance to cut the losses on gifts and to monetize the games?

photo credit: markus.pacher

  • Hi Suzanne, I think FB is about continuous change. Just look at how many revisions to their interface they have done in the past couple of years. I personally forgot about the gifting option, maybe it is me but I am hesitant to buy an virtual gift (avatar) for $1. Perhaps they are giving that audience to the Myspace crowd? Also, I bet the sponsored “free” gifts were not doing that good for their bottom line, so they are pulling the plug (any case studies from 7-11 or movies like “Watchmen” out there?). We may never know the reasoning, but I think that this is one of those historical moments in FB that we will soon forget.

    Of course FB's reasoning is very vague, interesting on how “gifting” came about.
    http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=40572711

  • So, you're telling me that I won't have to get email a million times and get flooded on Facebook with “You have a gift request sent from XXX”?

    That's AWESOME! Facebook is meant for talking, not being obsessed and spamming people with spam because of GAMES. Great post, Suzanne!

  • Joe

    it is awesome. I actually blocked it a long time ago but for those that did not I can only imagine the flood of emails. It is a strange move in a way as it was a money maker for FB. Probably not a lot but we can be sure that there will be more games or something coming out real soon.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • Jennifer

    Interesting points. We know that it was not doing well and/or something else is on the horizon. They will not abandon the virtual currency. Maybe a merger with someone? I would expect that they will be enhancing the games as we know that they are used extensively. This will be interesting to see what happens but yes, you are correct, we will soon forget as there will be something new to talk about.

    @SuzanneVara