Why Did Facebook Buy Social Gift App Karma? We May Find Out Soon

By David Cohen 

When Facebook acquired social gift application Karma in May, right around the time of its initial public offering, the social network pointed out that unlike some of its other acquisitions, the deal was not a talent grab, and Karma would continue to operate. According to a report in The Next Web, the fruits of the Karma acquisition may soon be unveiled.

The Next Web reported that Facebook is preparing a social gift-giving service of its own, based on Karma, for release sometime in the next few weeks, adding that it will only be available in the U.S., as is the case with Karma.

Karma is an app for the iPhone and Android devices that connects with users’ Facebook accounts to collect information on friends’ birthdays, engagements, new jobs, new babies, or even just if they’re having bad days, and then allows users to choose from several card designs and hundreds of products from leading retailers.

The app suggests gift items based on the specific occasion, or users can browse categories. Gifts can be sent without knowing the recipients’ addresses, as recipients fill in that information, as well as choosing size, color, or flavor, and whether to give to charity instead of accepting the gift.

There was no word on how Facebook plans to stage the rollout, whether it plans to expand its product to other countries, or how similar its offering will be to the existing Karma service, according to The Next Web.

Adding fuel to the fire, sister blog Inside Facebook discovered a since-removed job listing on the Facebook Careers site for a merchant operations analyst, saying in the listing:

We are looking for an individual with strong communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills to help us launch our Facebook Gifts product. This individual will be responsible for assisting the merchandising team with merchant and product management. She/he will lead the process for on-boarding merchants to vendor portal and fulfillment, be responsible for asset management, and manage merchant inventory.

Facebook did not confirm the details to The Next Web, only saying:

As a common practice, Facebook does not comment on speculation around future products.

Readers: What do you think the Facebook Gifts offering will be like, if it does indeed launch?

Gifts image courtesy of Shutterstock. Job listing screen grab courtesy of Inside Facebook.