Facebook Gifting App EGifter Starts Using Algorithm To Go Beyond Birthdays

By Justin Lafferty 

Several Facebook gifting applications have relied upon birthdays to get users to interact. But eGifter, an app from GroupGifting.com, wants to change that. The team recently introduced to its app an algorithm to recommend good times to give gifts other than birthdays. For instance, if a friend posts that they’re celebrating a milestone such as a baby, engagement, or new job, eGifter will learn this and recommend a gift.

Tyler Roye, CEO of GroupGifting.com, wants to go beyond the birthday. Other gifting apps aren’t birthday-exclusive, but Roye said they don’t mine Facebook’s social graph like eGifter. While it won’t happen immediately, as users interact with the app more and more, it will adapt to their preferences. It will pick up on keywords in posts, suggesting to users that they might want to buy a gift for a friend who recently moved or has something else to celebrate.

Currently, eGifter (an iOS and Android app) has around 100,000 users — roughly one-half of whom are Facebook-connected. The app also has about 100 different retailers from which to choose.

Roye talked with AllFacebook about the motivation for eGifter’s algorithm:

We’re getting a lot of data that’s coming through the social graph that we can then analyze. There’s lots of different available social data out there that we can find and gather and it helps us to make decisions. There may be things happening in someone’s life, and then those events show up in the conversations that are happening on the social network, and we try to determine if something happened. Then we try to determine from that activity if there’s something going on in this person’s life that might warrant congratulating that person.

Readers: How often do you give gifts to Facebook friends using apps?