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Facebook acquires social-gifting startup Karma

updated 10:48 pm EDT, Fri May 18, 2012

Terms of buyout remain unclear

Facebook's initial public offering remained the biggest story in tech throughout the day, overshadowing the social network's latest acquisition, Karma, a company that specializes in mobile social gifting. The startup has developed an e-commerce platform that enables mobile users to quickly find gifts, select a personalized card, and notify the recipient via text message, e-mail or Facebook.

The company partners directly with a wide range of brands, enabling the recipient to have a certain level of control over their gift. Depending on the particular product, recipients can choose different flavors, styles or colors. The gift can also be swapped for something else, or the value can be sent to charity.

The system eliminates the need for buyers to determine a correct address or other personal details, as recipients are asked to input shipping information after they finalize the gift. Karma then wraps the product as a gift and sends it along to the recipient.

"The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force," Karma wrote in a statement on its website. "By combining the incredible passion of our community with Facebook's platform we can delight users in new and meaningful ways. As we say ... only good things will follow."

Karma currently offers apps for Android and iOS platforms. Facebook has yet to fully detail its vision for the platform and its staff.

by MacNN Staff



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