Facebook updates: charity gifts being tested, keyword search added to App Center

2 Nov 2012

The busy bees over at Facebook never really stop rolling out and testing new features, and this week we have an update to the App Center and an add-on for Facebook Gifts – which should be available worldwide in time for that time of the year that we don’t want to mention just yet.

Facebook Gifts began rolling out across the US in late September with the promise that other regions would follow soon after. Now, Facebook is adding the option to make a charitable donation in a giftee’s name using this service.

The new feature is being tested initially with 11 non-profit organisations, including the American Red Cross (which is right now busy in the wake of superstorm Sandy), Water.org, LIVESTRONG and Girls Inc.

In announcing this test feature, Facebook product ninja Jared Morgenstern implied that the gift-giving service will reach all users in time for the season-which-shall-not-be-named. “Facebook Gifts continues to roll out more broadly every day,” he wrote. “If you don’t have access to Facebook Gifts yet, look for it coming to you very soon.”

Updates for app seekers and app makers

Another update being rolled out on Facebook is the ability to perform keyword searches in the App Center. This will give users an alternative way to discover apps, aside from personalised recommendations, lists of top apps and the category filters.

The App Center search index will include all listed app detail pages, requiring no changes from developers.

Facebook also announced several updates to the App Dashboard, including support for transparency in icon images, the ability to create sponsored results from the Dashboard, and a simpler process for entering company information, whittling it down to five steps.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.