My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Facebook acquires Karma and goes into Social Gifting - Six Degrees of Separation and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Facebook acquires Karma and goes into Social Gifting - Six Degrees of Separation and The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Facebook’s recent acquisition of Social Gifting company Karma in May 2012AD as stated in the article “Facebook acquires social gifting company Karma”, published May 18, 2012 1:46 PM PDT by Rafe Needleman, CNET News for an undisclosed sum of Gold Coins (I’m joking of course!) gives Facebook access to a treasure trove of Data as to how well we are connected.

Facebook has now solidified their plans and have now pushed full steam ahead into the business of Social Gifting using this recently acquired company Karma on Thursday September 27th 2012AD as declared in the article “Send your Facebook friends real gifts through their Timelines”, published September 27, 2012 2:07 PM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News.

Facebook has shown considerable interest in this connectedness among its members. They even conducted a “Six Degrees of Separation” experiment to determine how easily one can send a message to someone you know via passing it on through people who do not know the person personally and only have the name and destination of the message to be sent to the person.

This experiment has now verified that Social Media has shrunk our level of connectedness from the roughly 6 persons needed to send a message anonymously to approximately 4 persons as stated in the article “Forget 'six degrees'--we are actually closer”, published November 21, 2011 8:53 PM PS by Steven Musil, CNET News and “Facebook cuts six degrees of separation to four”, published 22 Nov 2011 1:50PM GMT By Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor, The UK Telegraph.

This reminds me a lot of the Digicel I Spy Game that was played back in 2004AD where customers had to find the person to whom Telecom Provider Digicel had sent a message via SMS, effectively a Geo-Location Game implementation of Six Degrees of Separation as described in my blog article entitled “Brown Dawg and I Spy Rewards- Geo-location rewards system for Mobile Social Networking”.

So this acquisition of Karma is not surprising, as they want to monetize this knowledge of connectedness and the expression of connectedness via Gifting, which is a form of Six Degrees of Separation, as the sender sends gifts through people who do not know the person but has the name and destination of the package.

The last time I did an article on Facebook, they were having problems with coming up with a strategy to take advantage of the explosive growth from the trending toward Mobile Computing as stated in my blog article entitled “Facebook extinct as Chrome to be No. 1 Browser in 2012AD – FB rides Bed Knobs and Broomsticks Mobile Revolution against Google+”.

Their stock still plummeting, their integration of Facebook into iOS 6.0 which is on the Apple iPhone and all Apple product that uses iOS 6.0 as faithfully recorded for the Apple-masses in my blog article entitled “Apple deeply integrating Facebook into iOS 6.0 - The Penguins of Madagascar Microsoft and Apple save the Devil in the Blue Dress” must have come as a Godsend.

Facebook needs to come up with a long term strategy for growth that includes increased expansion into countries where they are not the dominant player both on Desktops and Mobile computers, as the recent debut of their IPO has seen their stock price plummet due to a lack of said strategy. Investors, both large and small, have brought Facebook stock and then sold it for a profit, selling their stocks en masse, jumping ship and leaving the captain and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to sink with the Titanic, so to speak.

Still Facebook is optimistic, with its employees and CEO Mark Zuckerberg focusing on the work ahead and making light of their IPO’s performance as stated in the article “Facebook: We're 'very focused' on putting ads in newsfeeds”, published October 2, 2012 2:18 PM PDT by Shara Tibken, CNET News.

So far, it’s been mostly Gaming Revenues and Advertising as noted in my blog article entitled “Facebook Credits and Online Gaming - The Pied Pipe's Revenge in the Age of Empire”. Along with the integration of Skype into Facebook, they are presented with the opportunity to push into Telecoms via monetize Video Calling on Mobile Phones as explained in my blog article entitled “Skype's Ads on Free VoIP heralds coming of Free Mobile VoIP - Video Calls not problem as LIME LTE soon tun up”.

This push into Social Gifting, powered by the trend towards Mobile Computing is truly a winner, as a recent study by Javelin Strategy and Research indicates that Mobile Computing i.e. Tablets and smartphones is indeed driving more Online Purchases as stated in the article “Mobile shopping bringing in $20 billion annually -- study”, published September 26, 2012 4:23 PM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News.

The web and phone survey conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, a brand new analyst I’ve never heard of, nonetheless makes for interesting reading:

1.      $20.7 billion spent on Online shopping through Mobile Computers i.e. smartphones and Tablets
2.      25% or about US$5 billion, was spent via Tablets
3.      Tablet users spend US$10 more on average in their Online Purchases than smartphones users 

So the bigger screen does make a difference to the Online Retail Sales of companies such as Amazon. It explains their confidence in upgrading and re-launching the Amazon Kindle Fire with 4G LTE and HD Screens pushing near-Retina Display as outlined in my blog article entitledAmazon launches a pair of Kindle Fire 2 - ACS-Xerox Call Centers in Jamaica ramp up as Kindle Fire begin to Sparkle”, promoting increased Online Purchasing. Mobility with a bigger, better screen and Online spending, it seems, go hand in hand.

With Facebook now fully baked into iOS 6.0 now resplendent on the now very popular and recently launched Apple iPhone 5, based on shattered previous Weekend Sales record sales of 2 million in less than 24 hours as stated in the article “Phone 5 preorders top 2M in first 24 hours, shattering record”, published September 17, 2012 5:43 AM PDT by Roger Cheng, CNET News, Facebook is primed for Great things.

This as iOS 6.0 updates also exists for the Apple iPad 3. With Tablet sales estimates being revised from 100 million units sold by the end of 2012AD as estimated by analyst ABI as stated in the article “Tablet sales could top 100 million”, published Friday, August 24, 2012, The Jamaica Observer to 117 million units sold by the end of 2012AD as estimated by analyst IDC as stated in the article “Tablet shipments now expected to hit 117 million this year”, published September 19, 2012 6:31 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News, the Gifting business is sure to get a Big boost this coming Christmas 2012AD.

But more importantly, it will put Facebook on firm footing as it relates to a growth Strategy for Mobile, as Social Gifting is no different than Gifting people items via an Amazon Account. Facebook, in essence, is becoming an Online Retailer driven by Americans Six Degrees of Separation and benefitting from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012).


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