What Happened to Facebook Gifts?

The once iconic feature is now just a faint memory

An image graphic of a gift with a Facebook icon on it, shown on a laptop screen.

 Lifewire

Facebook officially closed its iconic Gift Shop on August 1, 2010. It was then rolled into the Facebook App Center, which could be accessed by going to Facebook.com/Gifts. This second iteration of Facebook Gifts was shut down in 2014. The information below remains for archive purposes only.

Way back in 2007, Facebook introduced a new feature called Gifts. These were virtual icons that you could give to friends to show off on their profiles as a small token of your appreciation for their friendship. They were available from the Facebook Gift Shop.

Remembering Facebook Gifts

When Facebook Gifts were first introduced, all Facebook users at the time got to give away one Gift for free, either privately or publicly. Additional Gifts could be purchased for $1 each, with net proceeds going to charitable organizations.

The original designer of Facebook Gifts was Susan Kare, who also designed the first set of icons for the Macintosh computer in 1983. From hearts and gift boxes to rolls of toilet paper and '90's Troll dolls, Facebook Gifts gave users the opportunity to share more visual messages with friends.

Every so often, Facebook would give users a free credit to give away a Gift for free. New Gifts would appear regularly, especially as part of a promotion to spread awareness of some kind of event or cause.

Gift recipients would see a new Gift in their Gift Box, which used to appear on their profile. If the Gift was publicly given, it would also appear as a message on their wall.

Facebook eventually expanded its Gifts beyond virtual images to include digital gift cards from popular places such as Starbucks. Gift givers also got the option to pay at the time of purchase or pay later.

Facebook Gifts and Its Impact on Charities

Perhaps the most significant effect Facebook Gifts had on the world was its contribution toward charitable organizations. A secondary benefit of gifts, beyond raising money, was to spread awareness of the important work of nonprofit organizations.

When Gifts were a growing trend on the platform, Facebook announced a feature enabling users to make charitable contributions with 11 nonprofit partners, including the American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of America, and Livestrong. Each time you bought a charitable Facebook Gift, you had the option of choosing a non-profit recipient or letting the gift receiver choose the beneficiary.

Why Facebook Closed Its Gift Shop

Facebook closed its Gift Shop so that it could focus its product development efforts on other features, such as photos, the News Feed, Messenger, games, reaction buttons, and more. Newer, more engaging Facebook features emerged, such as Facebook Stories, group video chats in Messenger, and much more.

Millions of Facebook Gifts were given over the years before the feature was discontinued. For a certain period of time, after the Gift Shop was closed in 2010, you could still see your gifts at Facebook.com/gifts. Unfortunately, even this has since been discontinued.