Facebook pushes Gifts ahead of holiday

Facebook has been heavily promoting its Gifts feature in the final days before Christmas with banners above News Feed and sidebar modules suggesting friends to buy for.

Starting Friday, users were prompted with notices on the Facebook homepage and mobile feed, encouraging them to “Send a last minute gift.” Because Facebook doesn’t yet offer a way for users to buy a gift in advance and pick a later time to notify the recipient, the banner points out that friends will be notified “instantly.” The social network used to offer scheduled gifts from its virtual Gift Shop, and this is likely a feature the company is thinking about for its new physical gifts business.

Facebook is also promoting Gifts in the sidebar of the site. Some users are seeing a “Send a Holiday Gift” module with a short list of friends a user might want to get a gift for. Other users have gotten a “Give Friends What They Like” module, which highlights a page that a friend Likes as a suggestion of what to buy for them.

We’ve even seen Facebook remind users how long they’ve been friends with other users, as a way to encourage people to buy gifts.

Facebook has also redesigned the interface for browsing Gifts. In addition to general gift categories like “Home & Kitchen” and “Beauty & Body,” Facebook has begun organizing gifts into “Shops,” such as “Gifts under $25″ and “Gifts for Gents.”

“Give Friends What They Like” image via Kenneth Reitz.

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