Facebook Unveils Online Gift Store

But don't try buying presents for your dog's account

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 28, 2012 3:31 AM CDT | Updated Sep 28, 2012 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Facebook is rolling out a new e-commerce feature that may prove to be a gift to its shell-shocked investors. Facebook Gifts allows users to buy and send real-life presents to friends without leaving the site, which will remind users of the service for events like friends' birthdays and anniversaries, reports All Things Digital. It has more than 100 retail partners on board already, including Starbucks and teddy-bear maker Gund. The service will be fully functional on mobile devices, where Facebook has been struggling to make money.

  • This looks like a smart move from Facebook, which is "trying to monetize common, naturally occurring behavior on its network in a way that feels more natural than other Facebook ads," writes Ryan Tate at Wired. "If anyone is better positioned than Amazon to recommend products to people, it’s Facebook," he notes.
  • The number of Facebook users, however, is shrinking as the company steps up the deletion of an estimated 83 million fake accounts, including duplicates and accounts people have created for their pets, reports the Daily Mail. The deleted accounts' "likes" disappear too, which has caused some pages to lose tens of thousands of likes this week.
  • But as fake accounts vanish, plenty of real ones are being created in China by people using proxy servers to bypass the country's Facebook ban, Bloomberg reports. A new survey finds that Facebook has 63.5 million users in China, up from 7.9 million two years ago.

This image provided by Facebook shows a new service called Gifts, which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks, and other real-life presents to one another.
This image provided by Facebook shows a new service called Gifts, which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks, and other real-life presents to one another.   (AP Photo/Facebook)
This undated image provided by Facebook shows a new service called Gifts, which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks, and other real-life presents to one another.
This undated image provided by Facebook shows a new service called Gifts, which, as its name suggests, lets users send chocolate, coffee, socks, and other real-life presents to one another.   (AP Photo/Facebook)
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