Facebook is building on the success of its plastic gift cards by adding merchants that can accept it, but is also planning to eliminate a system that lets the social network's users send mailed gifts.

“Today we're beginning to roll out a new design for Facebook Gifts focused on gift cards. Since launching Gifts in December last year, roughly 80% of gifts have been gift cards. So, we're now adding more digital codes and making the Facebook Card redeemable at more merchants. As a part of this shift in focus to Facebook Card and digital codes, we’re also phasing out physical gifts,” said Facebook in an emailed statement to PaymentsSource.

Facebook recommends gifts based on brands the recipient has 'Liked' on Facebook. With this redesign, the company says it is now factoring location-based check-in data into gift recommendations. For example, if a person frequently checks into Starbucks through Facebook's app, Facebook might suggest a Starbucks gift card as a gift for that consumer.

The tech news site TechCrunch reported Facebook's Decision Aug. 23.

Facebook's plastic gift card bears its own brand, but can be loaded with funds redeemable at partner merchants such as Sephora and Target.

Facebook plans to suggest consumers purchase digital gift codes or funds for Facebook’s plastic card as gifts to friends. The Facebook Gift Card will get its own landing page, and businesses will get URLs for their gift shop.

Facebook Gifts, which launched in 2012, allows people to buy physical gifts such as candy and toys in addition to digital gift cards.

Facebook’s presence in payments is expanding. The company reported at the time of its IPO that it gets about 15% of its revenue from payments. The social networking site is also testing a mobile checkout product.

Facebook in February launched the Facebook Gift Card, a plastic card that is mailed to a purchaser’s Facebook Friends. Amazon.com also recently launched a virtual birthday gift card for Facebook users.


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