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Facebook Gifting App EGifter Starts Using Algorithm To Go Beyond Birthdays

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Several Facebook gifting applications have relied upon the birthday to get users to interact. But eGifter, the app from GroupGifting.com, wants to change that. The team has recently introduced to its app an algorithm to recommend good times to give a gift, other than birthdays. For instance, if a friend posts that they’re celebrating a milestone such as a baby, engagement, or new job, eGifter will learn this and recommend a gift.

Tyler Rowe, the CEO of GroupGifting.com, wants to go beyond the birthday. Other gifting apps aren’t birthday exclusive, but Rowe says that they don’t mine Facebook’s social graph like eGifter. While it won’t happen immediately, as the user interacts with the app more and more, it will adapt to the person’s preferences. It will pick up on keywords in posts, suggesting to the user that they might want to buy a gift for a friend who recently moved or has something else to celebrate.

Currently, eGifter (an iOS and Android app) has around 100,000 users — roughly half of whom are Facebook-connected. The app also has about 100 different retailers from which to choose.

Rowe talked with AllFacebook about the motivation for eGifter’s algorithm:

We’re getting a lot of data that’s coming through the social graph that we can then analyze. There’s lots of different available social data out there that we can find and gather and it helps us to make decisions. There may be things happening in someone’s life and then those events show up in the conversations that are happening on the social network, and we try to determine if something happened. Then we try to determine from that activity if there’s something going on in this person’s life that might warrant congratulating that person.

Readers: How often do you give a gift to a Facebook friend using an app?

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