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.

Facebook officially closed its iconic Gift Shop on August 1st, 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.

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 designed first set of icons for the Macintosh computer in 1983. From hearts and gift boxes, to rolls of toilet papers and 90s troll toys, Facebook gifts gave users the opportunity to share more than just a message with someone by writing on their wall (in a much more visual way).

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

A recipient of a gift would see it go in their "Gift Box" that used to appear on their profile. If it 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 like 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 of course to spread awareness of the work of non-profit organizations.

When gifts were a growing trend on the platform, Facebook announced a coming soon feature to make charitable contributions with 11 non-profit 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 your friend you’re gifting choose – a new twist on making a charitable contribution in the name of in lieu of a gift.

Why Facebook Closed Its Gift Shop

Facebook closed its Gift Shop so that it could focus its product development efforts on other features like photos, the News Feed, Messenger, games, the "Like" button and more. It seems that the trend of gift giving had an expiration, and made room for newer, more engaging Facebook features to emerge — like stories, group video chat in Messenger and so much more.

Millions of 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.