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Facebook Gifts to enable sending of real presents

A quick "Happy birthday!" on your Facebook friend's Wall will no longer do. Give them what they really want - presents!

The social network has unveiled Facebook Gifts, which will allow you to send real gifts via the Interwebs. Members can send gifts from the birthday reminders link on the news feed or from a friend's Timeline via the "Give him/her a gift" link or the present icon. Gift notifications can be posted to that friend's Timeline or sent privately.

"Your friend can then unwrap a preview of the gift and it will show up on their doorstep a few days later," Facebook said in a blog post.

Facebook said users can pay right away or add payment details later. The recipient will provide their shipping address of choice, and also select the desired colour, size, or flavour. If your choice is all wrong, they can exchange it for something of equal value.

Friends will receive notification about the gift as they would any other Facebook update.

Facebook said Gifts will include hundreds of options, like cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, a stuffed animal from Gund, or a digital gift card from Starbucks.

Facebook is rolling out Gifts gradually, first in the US, but you can check it out on

This is not the first time Facebook has dabbled in gift-giving. The social network used to have a Gift Shop that allowed users to post virtual gifts on their friends' Walls. It was born out of a 2007 hackathon event and lasted until August 2010, when it was shut down so that Facebook could focus on "improving other products."

Earlier this year, meanwhile, an app known as Bday Gift Finder launched on the social network and served up gift suggestions for friends based on a recipient's Facebook "Likes" and other data.