What will a dol­lar buy on­line? Not vir­tual gifts, Face­book says

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Com­piled from wire re­ports

Hard times in the re­tail world have hit Face­book Inc., which is clos­ing its vir­tual gift shop, ac­cord­ing to a blog post from a prod­uct man­ager for the pop­u­lar so­cial me­dia web­site.

Face­book users who like to send their friends icons of birth­day cakes, kit­tens, car­toon char­ac­ters and other ob­jects have un­til Aug. 1 to do so be­fore the shop closes for good, said Jared Mor­gen­stern, Face­book’s prod­uct man­ager for games and cred­its. Pre­vi­ously sent gifts will re­main on a user’s Face­book page, how­ever, Mor­gen­stern said.

“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,” Mor­gen­stern wrote.

Face­book in­stead will fo­cus on fea­tures such as Pho­tos, News Feed, In­box, games, com­ments, the “Like” but­ton and the Wall. Face­book started the gift shop in Fe­bru­ary 2007, Mor­gen­stern wrote. Each gift cost $1.

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