Beleaguered Facebook stock was given a small boost this week after the social media site announced the launch of Gifts, a service that will allow users to send real world presents to each other.

Whilst users used to be able to send virtual gifts to each other, it is the internet giant's first foray into genuine e-commerce.

The service will cover gifts such as teddy bears, socks, chocolate and Starbuck's vouchers and will be linked with birthdays and other reminders.

facebook

Users will be able to send gifts such as chocolate and teddy bears

Facebook will take an as-yet unspecified cut from each transaction possibly opening up a new and lucrative source of revenue.

Facebook shares, which have had a rough ride since the company's disastrous initial public offering (IPO) in May, rose 7.1% to $21.77 (£13.46) with the news.

This still contrasts starkly with the IPO price of $38 (£23.50). The beginning of September saw a record low of $17.55 (£10.86).

More than $8 billion (£5bn) has been wiped of Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerburg's net worth as a result.

Facebook Gifts has had a limited launch in the US and will be available to other users in the coming weeks.