Facebook lets friends send real gifts

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AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File

SAN FRANCISCO—Facebook on Thursday added a feature that lets people send cupcakes, coffee, stuffed animals or other gifts to friends at the social network.

Facebook said it was rolling Gifts out gradually, starting in the United States.

“Every day, millions of people share special moments with their friends on Facebook,” the California-based firm said in a blog post.

“Now, there is another way to celebrate these moments.”

People can click on icons that look like bow-wrapped boxes to select gifts from an array of merchants then send friends virtual cards either as private messages or for posting in public timelines at Facebook pages.

Intended recipients tell Facebook whether they accept gifts and where items should be delivered.

“There are hundreds of gifts with more added every day: cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, a stuffed animal from Gund, or a digital gift card from Starbucks,” Facebook said.

The blog post showed the Gifts feature being used on a smartphone. Facebook has been under pressure to show how it will make money from users who are increasingly opting to access the social network from smartphones or tablets.

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