Social Shopping App Wins Facebook Hackathon

A social shopping app took home the top prize at the Hackathon at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto last weekend.

The winning project is a site focused on social shopping that pulls in your friends’ and your own ‘like’ activity and allows you to search for products that you’re interested in. The developers describe the site, called Kuplia, as “Amazon wishlist meets Quora”. The winning team members Katy Levinson, Max Hodak, Jenny Tsai and Brian Klug shared prize money of $2,500, sponsored by Intel.

I’m yet to test out Kuplia since there seems to be a glitch in the sign-up process, but I like the idea. It’s also a good demonstration of how the social shopping market is heating up. Further proof comes from the fact that one of the honorable mentions was also a social shopping app – Yell Sesame, which displays ‘like’ data next to products, so you can search for item or see an aggregate view of what’s most popular based on tweets and Facebook activity.

A number of social shopping apps have launched recenty, including two from FatWallet and Amazon’s implementation of Facebook Connect.

About 150 people, both men and women, attended the Developer Garage and Hackathon over the weekend, hosted jointly by Facebook and Girls in Tech. The event kicked off at noon on Saturday with a fajita lunch in the courtyard, before moving inside. Among the speakers were Sandra Liu Huang, product marketing manager at Facebook, spoke about Facebook Platform, and Julie Tung, Platform software engineer at Facebook, spoke about Graph API.

Before the Hackathon, there was also a panel on women in technology, moderated by journalist Kara Swisher. The panelists included Jocelyn Goldfein, director of engineering at Facebook, Sandy Jen, founder of Meebo, Jennifer Pahlka, founder of non-profit Code for America, and Catherine Herdlick, game producer at Electronic Arts.