Facebook is closing its Gift Shop on August 1 in order to “focus instead on improving other Facebook products”. Consequently, users will no longer be able to give new gifts from the Facebook Gift Shop although gifts that have already been received will remain visible on users’ Walls, and you will still be able to view your sent and received gifts on your gifts page. In addition, people can continue to use other third-party applications for giving and receiving gifts such as Birthday Cards, Cakes, Flowers, Hallmark Social Calendar, Sommecards, virtual bottles of Champagne and Pieces of Flair.
The Facebook Gift Shop makes it possible for users to purchase virtual credits which are cashed in exchanged for digital gifts such as flower bouquets, which are sent to friends’ pages with optional custom messages for the recipient. Gift credits may be purchased at the rate of 10 credits for $1 and most of the virtual items cost the equivalent of $1 USD each.
Perhaps, one lasting impact the Gift shop’s “gift credits” system will have on Facebook is the virtual Facebook currency – Facebook Credits – which now makes it easier for users to purchase premium items across the many Facebook games and applications such as Farm Ville. Facebook hopes that this decision will result in improved and enhanced products and features that are more commonly used, such as Photos, News Feed, Inbox, Games, Comments, the “Like” button and the Wall in a bit to improve user experience. The social networking service is however expected to continue to offer a limited number of virtual gifts for free to represent sponsors or special occasions.
Are you disappointed that Facebook is closing its virtual gift store?