Review by on the 29th February 2012

karma widget

The story

From the people behind Tapjoy comes this revolutionary “social giving” app. This clever little chap uses semantic analysis software to tap into your Facebook friends’ streams to inform you when they need a real-world gift, suggests what would suit the occasion and makes ordering and receiving an in-app doddle.

The experience

You know how it is – you live miles away from some family and friends, you find out through Facebook that it’s their birthday or anniversary, that they’ve just had a baby or are just in the middle of a crappy day. This app will let you do so much more than send a virtual card or post on their wall. Karma scours your Facebook information to find out who’s in line for a birthday or anniversary. But it doesn’t stop there – it’ll scan friends’ events, wall posts and details to serve you up a scrolling stream of potential gift-giving occasions. For instance, if your mate has invited you to a housewarming party, Karma will pop up the event in your calendar view in case you want to gift them booze before the event. Or if it spots a Timeline trend of folks saying “So sorry...”, then it’ll suggest sending a gift to your down in the dumps friend. It’ll even pick up on relationship changes. From there, it gets even cleverer. Once you’ve chosen from one of the 50-odd retailers at present (it’s US-only at present, but a further rollout is planned), simply attach a greeting card and your recipient will receive a gift notification. Once they log in they can change the colour, size, flavour etc of your gift, or even choose to donate it straight to charity. The utter beauty is that you don’t have to know the receiver’s actual address, or their specific measurements or tastes in order to give the a real-life gift. And they’ll never see the price you paid either. Your mate simply tweaks to their specific specs, inputs their address securely and waits to receive their perfect pressie in the post. Simples. [Not a valid template]

The bottom line

Welcome to a whole new world of Facebook retail. The semantic scouring is so accurate it can feel intrusive, but the marriage of convenience and novelty and the growing roster of gift choices are enough to make this a genuinely useful service for those with friends or family outwith a five-mile radius.

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29th Feb 2012

Tapping into your Facebook friends to find out when they need a real-world gift


the good

  • » Amazingly intuitive
  • » Novel idea
  • » So simple to use

the bad

  • » Feels a little intrusive
  • » International rollout to come
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