Facebook gift-givers see new Gifts dashboard

Facebook users who have bought an item through Facebook Gifts are seeing a new dashboard with their purchase history and prompts to buy more gifts for friends.

The dashboard only appears to be available to users who have sent gifts already. Users who have not are directed to an introduction page with a video and more information about Facebook Gifts.

The dashboard page displays upcoming birthdays and friends with recent special events, such as engagements, weddings or births. Users will also see a row of friends, which changes every time they visit the page. Clicking one of these thumbnails opens up the Gifts storefront. Facebook also offers users the option to look through its catalogue without first indicating who they are shopping for by clicking “Browse Gifts” or “Give a Gift.”

Below this section is a user’s gift history with options to review and track items they’ve bought or received. They can also go back and read the e-card that came with a gift.

Users can access this dashboard from their bookmarks in the sidebar on the left-hand side of Facebook.com, via search or by clicking “See all” in the birthday module on their homepage.

The social network is continuing to build out the Gifts product and find the best way to present it to users. Facebook made $5 million from non-game payments in Q4 2012, a portion of which came from Gifts. One hurdle is that many users remember Facebook’s virtual gift business, and so they might not realize that the new Facebook Gifts is a platform for sending physical goods and products to their friends. Other users might be wary of adding their credit card information on Facebook.

For most users though, it’s simply a matter of presenting the right value proposition, suggesting relevant gifts for the right people, at the right time and price point. For example, on Valentine’s Day, Facebook recommended candy and other themed gifts for the friends users were closest to, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend.

The social network still hasn’t incorporated a key recommendation feature offered by Karma, the app it bought and turned into Gifts. Karma would scan friends’ Facebook posts to identify when someone had good news or was having a bad day. The app would suggest gifts for congratulating or cheering up. We could eventually see Facebook employ natural language processing to do this for its own Gifts product.

Thanks to Hüify CEO Josh Harcus for the tip.

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