Does a 'like' mean as much as a cake? What about a card? According to a recent survey, one in four people now measure the success of their birthday by the number of 'likes' they receive on Facebook.

By comparison, just one in five said they would expect to receive a traditional birthday card from friends through the post and only 15 per cent said they would always have a birthday cake.

Social networks are seemingly stealing a march on the more traditional birthday greetings, with three quarters of respondents to a survey of 1,000 people by gift card company One4All saying that they post their birthday greetings to friends online.

The survey also suggested that 60 per cent of people rarely take their birthday off work, and a third responding that they prefer a low-key celebration due to stress.

Facebook has made recent forays into gifts as a revenue stream, launching its own 'real' gift service last year which prompts users to buy and send real presents to friends via reminders before their birthdays. The 'real' gift service followed a virtual gift feature launched in 2010.

The social network, which has more than a billion users worldwide, also announced last year that it would begin charging to send direct messages to certain users' inboxes .

It has also been suggested that it will start to offer video adverts later in the summer. These adverts will start automatically, but thankfully without a soundtrack.