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Facebook gets itself a little good Karma after stock debut

May 18, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • Facebook acquires social giving app Karma.
Facebook acquires social giving app Karma. (Karma )

After a day of what some might call bad juju on the stock market, Facebook pulls in a little good Karma with its first purchase as a public company.

The social networking company, met with more "meh" than "like" as its stock settled only about 23 cents higher than its list price at the close of regular trading, bought the clicks-to-bricks social gifting app. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

“We've been really impressed with the Karma team and all they accomplished in such a short time," a Facebook spokesperson told The Times in an email. "This acquisition combines Karma’s passion and innovative mobile app with Facebook’s platform to help people connect and share in new and meaningful ways."

In a world of increasingly virtual connections, many of us know birthdays and how to reach one another only through our Facebook link. Karma seems to capitalize on the limits of our incomplete contacts by allowing users to alert friends and family about their gift via text, email or Facebook.

Karma lets the recipient choose the flavor, color or style and offers them the option to either exchange it or donate the value to charity. And if the gift is exchanged, they spare the giver's feelings -- they'll never know unless the recipient says something.

Payment is sought only after the recipient accepts the gift and provides a shipping address. Gifts are shipped by the next day, according to Karma. 

"Over the last year, we’ve built a new e-commerce platform from the ground up," founders Lee Linden and Ben Lewis wrote on the company blog. "We’ve been honored to partner with amazing brands to create a curated catalog of products. We made those products instantly giftable in a brand new way. And we harnessed the power of Facebook’s social network to ensure you never miss a chance to show someone you care."

Unlike other recent purchases, which were more about absorbing the staff, it appears this deal will keep the company intact.

"The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force," according to the Karma blog post. 

Karma offers free apps for iOS and Android phones.

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