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Zuckerberg rejects Gifts: Facebook service to be scrapped after less than 2 years

Facebook is gearing up to scrap its Gifts service after less than two years of trading.

The service, which allows users to send gift cards from businesses like Starbucks and iTunes to each other, will be removed on 12 August, and Facebook staff have already been reassigned to other commerce initiatives within the company.

Read more: Facebook test Buy Button

The social media firm said in a statement, "We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook."

Facebook's other initiatives include testing a new Buy button, for making e-commerce purchases within the site, Auto-Fill, so customers' billing info is automatically transferred into other shopping apps, and Custom Audiences, that allow merchants to target adds to customers they have already interacted with on Facebook and offline.

Gifts initially sold physical goods from over 100 retail outlets when it was launched back in September 2012, and customers did not need to know the address of the recipient when using the service, unlike other e-commerce services, such as Amazon.

Read more: Facebook Gifts to enable sending of real presents.

Facebook would post the gift to the receiver's wall, and once they had clicked on the link they would be asked for their shipping address, but the service switched to selling gift cards after only a year.

Although the service is to close next month, customers who have outstanding gifts will still be able to redeem them after the closing date.