One of the main reasons behind the explosion of the gift-card industry is how easy it makes the process from both ends: The gift giver avoids the process of traveling to stores, choosing gifts, transporting them, wrapping them, and making sure they get to recipients; recipients, in turn, can choose exactly what they want to spend the amount of the card on, and they are spared the hassle of returning unwanted gifts. Logistical reasons also fueled Facebook’s decision to scrap physical gifts from its Gifts offering and shift its focus to its own gift card, the Facebook Card.
Facebook confirmed a report in AllThingsD that it will gradually shift its Gifts offering to only digital gifts and gift cards, telling AllThingsD that 80 percent of Gifts sent via the social network were already digital, anyway.
Lee Linden, who oversees the Gifts feature for Facebook, told AllThingsD in an interview:
We’re really making the decision based on user feedback. The physical stuff is interesting for sure, but our goal is to build stuff that’s really great for the majority of people who are using it.
Physical gifts do require more work to maintain, and if fewer than 20 percent of users are taking advantage of it — the purpose of this redesign is to double down on what people want.
The Facebook Card allows users to pick the retail partner and amount, and recipients then receive gift cards via mail to the chosen retailer.
Facebook told AllThingsD that 10 percent of its users will be converted to Facebook Card-only Gifts Friday, with the remainder being switched over next week.
Readers: Was this a wise move by Facebook?