Some Facebook users are now seeing “give a gift” buttons on individual posts in their News Feed. The social network seems to recognize that users are sharing good news that friends might want to congratulate them for.
We’ve seen two examples of posts where users talked about getting a new job and another where a user announced, “It’s a boy!”
Previously, Facebook has suggested users give gifts to friends with upcoming birthdays or who recently announced their engagement, but those are structured life events that users share by setting their birthdate or changing their relationship status. These new prompts seem to involve natural language processing.
Karma, the mobile gifting app that Facebook bought and turned into Facebook Gifts, used to have a feature that scanned friends’ recent posts for clues that they might deserve congratulations or be in need of cheering up. It seemed to only be a matter of time before Facebook included this in its own version of the product.
By suggesting gifts directly within News Feed, Facebook could encourage users to buy more things for their friends. The company says its Gifts business has been growing slowly, though it has significantly expanded its inventory and made a number of improvements to the Gifts interface recently.
The prompts also appear for more structured updates, such as job changes or relationship status changes.