Mike Isaac

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In Its First Acquisition as a Public Company, Facebook Buys Social Gifting App Karma

That newfound cash is burning a hole in Facebook’s pocket.

After raising upward of $15 billion dollars in its first day as a public company, Facebook has acquired social gifting app Karma and all 16 of its employees.

The app is designed to help Facebook users find reasons to give one another gifts, identifying birthdays and special occasions.

It’s an acquisition, not an “acqhire.” So, interestingly enough, the service will stay up and functioning, Karma said on its company blog. As Karma put it, “The service that Karma provides will continue to operate in full force.”

Facebook makes acquisitions all the time, but it’s rare that it keeps the service up and running afterward. Instagram is the only previous example. Some services like FriendFeed are still alive, but only in maintenance mode.

It’s also yet another mobile acquisition, coming directly after the acquisitions of Glancee and Lightbox. As many have pointed out, Facebook has a weak mobile experience; it seems the company is wasting no time in beefing it up.

“We’ve been really impressed with the Karma team and all they accomplished in such a short time,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD in a statement. “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.”

Snapped up relatively quickly after being founded in June of last year by the creators of Tapjoy, Karma’s background is well-pedigreed; the app was funded by Kleiner Perkins, Obvious Corporation, Sequoia Capital and Felicis Ventures.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work