In May, Facebook spent $80 million on one of its largest acquisitions yet, Karma.
Karma was a gift buying startup that used Facebook to alert you of major upcoming dates in your friends' lives (birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc).
Today, Facebook's use for Karma was made clear as it dove head-first into e-commerce with a new feature, "Gifts."
With Gifts, you can buy a friend everything from a bottle of champagne to a pair of glasses, while Facebook takes a percent of all sales.
It's available in a few US cities beginning today on Facebook's website and Android devices; it will roll out on iOS later. Gifts will either be physically sent or come in the form of gift cards to giftees. Some gifts, like Uber rides, can be redeemed instantly on the giftee's phone.
Gift cards are a $100 billion industry and Facebook knows its up against steep competition from the likes of Amazon and eBay. "Our goal is to make this the best way to send a gift," Karma's co-founder Lee Linden tells TechCrunch. And once Facebook has all of our credit card information and addresses, it will be even more powerful. We already login to tons of other sites via Facebook, would it really be such a big stretch to pay on them with Facebook too? It'd be a lot easier than whipping out a credit card every time.
Here's a picture of what Facebook Gifts look like (click to expand):
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