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Closure of Facebook Gift Shop heralds the evolution of Facebook Credits in a big way
Facebook announced Thursday night that its Gift Shop, a platform that let users send and receive gifts, will be closing down on August 1.
Any gifts users have already received will remain visible on users' walls and gifts can still be sent and received on the gifts page. Further, Facebook encourages users to take advantage of the many third-party applications that offer gift services, like Birthday Cards, Hallmark Social Calendar, Pieces of Flair, and someecards.
"Closing the Gift Shop may disappoint many of the people who have given millions of gifts, but we made the decision after careful thought about where we need to focus our product development efforts," writes Jared Morgenstern, one of the two original developers of the Gift Shop. "We'll be able to focus more on improving and enhancing products and features that people use every day, such as Photos, News Feed, Inbox, games, comments, the 'Like' button and the Wall."
The Gift Shop was a place users could purchase virtual goods, little images of, for example, a kitten, a bouquet of flowers, or even a cake with the LA Lakers logo printed on it. These items were priced at about 10-30 Facebook Credits, or $1-3, with each Credit costing $.10.
And when it comes down to it, the closure of the Gift Shop really comes down to Facebook's long-term plan to evolve the Credits platform.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently said that Facebook was "building [Credits] quickly” and “focusing on scaling [them] out to the entire ecosystem.”
Signs that Facebook is serious about the global deployment of Facebook Credits abound. Besides the closure of the Gift Shop, Facebook recently penned long-term partnerships with both Zynga, the biggest social gaming application on the site, and MOL Global, a massive Malaysian online payments company and the owner of Twitter, to ensure the expansion of Facebook Credits.
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