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Facebook removing digital gift cards, in favor of actual product sales

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Last Updated: Jul 31, 2014

Facebook has had various trials of digital services for more revenue, but none have worked particularly well. The emoticon stickers and real-world gifts both sunk in the water a year after their launch. Digital gift cards are the next on the chopping block.

This will remove all digital gift cards from Facebook, in a news piece by Re/Code, Facebook said they would officially close down the service on August 12, but any gift cards obtained before that time will be redeemable.

Removing digital gift cards allows Facebook to move headfirst with the new “buy” button for products. Brands will be able to add their own stores on Facebook and the “buy” button will work for sponsored links, allowing users to buy products on Facebook.

The new move should allow brands more control over the buyer and also keep all of the payments inside of Facebook. In return for advertising on Facebook, the social network will also receive a small portion of the revenue generated from a sale.

Facebook has been trying to implement different ways to make revenue through advertising. For the most part, text based ads still win, but auto-play videos and games are becoming more welcoming areas for Facebook to work on.

The new “buy” button and digital stores inside Facebook could open up a whole new world of revenue for the social network. In order for this to happen, users need to start to understand they can buy goods from Facebook.

Currently, the way advertising links work, users click the link and go to the sellers website. The new model on Facebook is moving the user to the digital store or instantly paying for the product with the buy button.

Users will need to add a card to Facebook, in order to pay through the social network. This is another hard part for Facebook to achieve, since its user-base is still quite young, although it is getting older every year.

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