Facebook Pushing Birthday Virtual Gifts on Profile Pages

Facebook is increasing its push into the birthday virtual gifts business with a new profile page tweak: when friends visit your profile on your birthday, the Facebook Gifts application is selected by default, showing an array of virtual gifts available for sale from Facebook’s gift store.

The move comes after Facebook revamped its gift store in early November, moving to a virtual credits system to more easily allow for variably priced inventory. Since then, Facebook has increased promotion of its virtual gifts on the home page. All of the gifts shown by default in Facebook’s new profile page promotion cost 100 credits ($1).

Update: Facebook closed the Gift Shop in July 2010 and no longer directly sells virtual goods.

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In addition, Facebook launched its own birthday notification service last November as well. As we wrote at the time, “While this change also may appear minor at first, it’s a signal that Facebook is seriously eyeing the virtual gifts business.” Adding the gift store to profile pages is another step in that direction. It has been estimated that Facebook’s virtual gifts business ran between $30-$40 million last year.

Coincidentally, leading birthday reminder application SocialCalendar, which has experienced a bit of a dip and revival in its monthly active user numbers over the last couple months, today announced the launch of its own virtual gifting service. Users are now able to send virtual gifts to friends bought using currency either earned in the application or with cash.

SocialCalendar CEO Raj Lalwani told Inside Facebook today that he expects virtual gifts to be an “important source of revenue” for the company.

Update: A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook today that this feature is currently just a “test that ran momentarily” on the site. “It has not launched as a permanent feature but is part of regular functionality experiments Facebook conducts on the site to improve the user experience,” Facebook says.

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12 Responses to “Facebook Pushing Birthday Virtual Gifts on Profile Pages”

  1. Zafarali Ahmed says:

    this is stupid. most of my frens jus want to give me a wall post not a gift -_-

  2. Rajesh Lalwani says:

    Interesting development in virtual goods from Facebook and SocialCalendar – great minds think alike :-)

    Small correction – SocialCalendar expects not just virtual gifts but, in general, virtual goods to be an important source of revenue. SocialCalendar provides hundreds of icons to be used on one’s calendar, e.g. several birthday cakes for a birthday occasion, a movie reel icon for going to movies or a hearts icon for a date.

    We expect users to buy several thousand virtual gifts and icons per day. Most will be bought with reward points initially but we expect users to start buying points with real money eventually.

  3. Facebook Continues Build Out of Gifting Business with Scheduled Birthday Gifts says:

    [...] which has been testing giving its Gifts application more prominence on friends’ profiles before their birthda… recently, has just launched another new Gifts feature: scheduled birthday [...]

  4. What could Facebook do to increase its digital goods revenue - increase Opportunity. 1/3 « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog says:

    [...] its digital goods/gifts product recently, highlighting upcoming friends birthdays on the home page, prompting gifts on birthdays and allowing users to buy birthday gifts in advance. As birthday gifting is the most common usecase [...]

  5. What Could Facebook Do to Increase Its Digital Goods Revenue? | Webtrendblog.com says:

    [...] its digital goods/gifts product recently, highlighting upcoming friends birthdays on the home page, prompting gifts on birthdays and allowing users to buy birthday gifts in advance. As birthday gifting is the most common usecase [...]

  6. AdNectar Building a Sponsored Virtual Gifts Network for Facebook App Developers says:

    [...] out its in-house virtual gifting business lately, having recently launched new features like scheduled birthday gifts and holiday gifts. Late last year, it converted its virtual gifting economy to a [...]

  7. Birthday Calendar Growing Internationally Through Crowd-Sourced Translations says:

    [...] Facebook continues rolling out new features around birthday calendaring and gifting, popular app Birthday Calendar is [...]

  8. Facebook Platform Payment Providers Report Strong Growth in Q1 says:

    [...] example, it’s done several tests around birthday gifts and holiday gifts on user profiles, and recently also started experimenting publicly with a new credit gifting system that allows [...]

  9. What could Facebook do to increase its digital goods revenue - increase Opportunity. 1/3 | Bookmarks says:

    [...] its digital goods/gifts product recently, highlighting upcoming friends birthdays on the home page, prompting gifts on birthdays and allowing users to buy birthday gifts in advance. As birthday gifting is the most common usecase [...]

  10. Dustin Schible says:

    I actually couldnt beleave it when i saw it.
    it is so stupid.
    what next are we going to start charging people for saying have a nice day.
    that stupid capitalism at its best

  11. arumi says:

    There’s a limit to sending gifts, you can only send 1 gift for each of your friend in every 4 hours.

  12. Kiragu Henry says:

    Hix?enoy your bday

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