Hallmark Greets SocialCalendar with Funding, Co-Branding Deal

Hallmark, the greeting card empire, already offers e-cards on its own web site and it even has a tiny Facebook application — but now it’s getting a much larger presence on Facebook through a strategic funding and partnership deal with SocialCalendar. The calendar and gifting application developer is now being rebranded as Hallmark SocialCalendar, and the app will get “thousands” of additional e-card content options for the apps users, founder and chief executive Raj Lalwani tells us.

SocialCalendar, a combination calendar and gift-giving application, launched early on the Facebook platform, and it has managed to build a large and stable user base of nearly 2 million monthly active users and 13 million total users. It has persevered — and even thrived — through Facebook’s myriad platform changes, as we’ve been covering over the years.

The deal with Hallmark is a big win for the startup, and validates other applications that are building applications that aren’t social games.

And today, the two companies are also rolling out a new or improved set of SocialCalendar features, including a way to post to high-quality, animated Hallmark content on to friends’ walls, together with a personalized message. The startup has also recently rolled out some other tools, like a way to schedule a gift to post on somebody’s wall for their birthday.

Greeting cards are inherently social — lots of people like to leave masses of them sitting on tables or hanging up on walls during holidays and birthdays — but Facebook provides an even more meaningful place for them to be seen. “When sending e-cards or greeting cards, it just used to be you and them,” Lalwani explains. “With Facebook’s wall, everyone else who sees the receiver’s wall also sees the card. I think that has made it more interesting.”

SocialCalendar, part of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Newput Corporation, is also looking to expand its virtual gifts line to Facebook’s gift store. The company is already one of a handful of third-party developers using Facebook’s own virtual currency, Credits. Users can purchase 10 credits for $1.00, then use the credits to buy gifts within apps like SocialCalendar or within Facebook gift store. And yes, SocialCalendar is also looking to expand into that gift store, and now it has the Hallmark brand to help it make the push.

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