Surprise! Facebook looks to boost revenue, mobile with Gifts


Four months after buying mobile social gifting startup Karma, Facebook (s FB) is today unveiling a new service that enables users to exchange physical gifts entirely through its platform.

Called Gifts, the service lets Facebook users choose from an online selection of items, which range from Starbucks gift cards and magazine subscriptions to whimsical knick-knacks and artisan foods, and then pay for the present and notify the recipient. Gift-givers can choose to alert friends through public posts or private messages and, when the receiver is notified about the gift, she provides the address for delivery.

Given Facebook’s purchase of Karma, the new feature isn’t a surprise, but it could mean big returns for the company. Not only is it Facebook’s first major step into e-commerce – which has only really dabbled in payments through virtual goods and social games – it gives Facebook users a reason to use…

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