Fresh off its first day on the Nasdaq, Facebook has acquired another company: Karma. An app for “in-the-moment gifting,” Karma lets you send everything from a bottle of wine to a fuzzy teddy bear to friends via SMS, email, and Facebook.
The way Karma works is pretty simple. Using the app, you can browse through a virtual storefront to pick out a gift. Karma has partnered with companies including with Hulu, Gund, MoMa and Spotify –- so there’s a pretty decent selection of gifts.
Once you’re found the perfect gift, you can create a virtual card and send your present to your recipient via text, email, or a message on his or her Facebook wall. As the person receiving the gift, you can choose to accept it -– and provide Karma with an address where you would like your gift shipped -– or you can trade the gift in for something else in Karma’s store. You can even choose to give the monetary value of the gift to charity.
Mashable met with Karma CEO Lee Linden in March. At the time, Linden said that the majority of the gifts sent from the app were actually done via SMS.
“The average response rate for an SMS gift is less than 60 seconds,” said Linden. “Email is four to five hours. On Facebook, it’s a day.”
One interesting aspect of the app is its Facebook integration. Karma reads through messages on your Facebook wall, and alerts you to specific events where you might want to send a gift. For instance, if a friend was receiving several “Congratulations!” messages on his or her wall due to the birth of a new child, Karma will let you know so you can send a gift. Karma also stays on top of things like birthdays and new jobs.
“We’re thrilled to announce that Karma has been acquired by Facebook.” Karma execs said in a blog post. “The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force. 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.”