Social Commerce

With $1M, Boomerang launches locally-focused social gifting platform

Chicago-based Boomerang, backed by Groupon founders’ Lightbank, is launching Tuesday to give Facebook users a way to give friends paperless gifts, including vouchers for local restaurants, spas, sporting companies and theaters. Some gift options are free, offering merchants a new way to attract customers.

Rethinking Facebook’s role in ‘f-commerce’

While Facebook commerce has been a dud, 8thBridge believes there is a future in f-Commerce, though it means rethinking the role Facebook plays in it. The company unveiled a new new social commerce platform on Tuesday, that doesn’t rely on steering shoppers to Facebook stores.

Chirpify raises $1.3 million, expands Twitter payment platform

Chirpify, a payment platform that uses Twitter to conduct transactions, announced it has raised $1.3 million in a Series A round and is finding good traction from Fortune 500 companies. It is also expanding the platform to include the sale of digital goods.

Why eBay is buying recommendation engine Hunch

EBay has announced it’s buying New York startup Hunch, the recommendation engine, to help improve its recommendation services. The purchase helps eBay improve its technology base, compete better with Amazon and it might also be another asset in eBay’s X.commerce platform.

Four mega trends shaping the future of commerce

The fact that we all have technology at our fingertips has caused a disintermediation within traditional commerce, and significant disruption for retailers big and small. Innovation is no longer an option. Rather, it is paramount to survival.

Revealed: Facebook’s music plans tap Spotify, others

Facebook has been talking to various music services with a focus on social sharing and discovery of music. In this exclusive report, we share some of Facebook’s plans and features. Expect these announcements at its annual developer conference, likely to be held in August.

Say hello to the alive web!

We now have seamless connectivity via mobile devices; people can always be connected. This connectivity offers an opportunity to create a different kind of Internet experience that’s more immersive and interactive. That persistent connection is what allows us to create and experience the Alive Web.

Is Groupon Selling Tickets to the Bubble Parade?

Groupon’s hotly-awaited initial stock offering will either stand as a beacon of hope to technology and Internet stocks of all kinds, or as a giant warning sign indicating a huge bubble of irrational exuberance. The company’s prospectus contains plenty of evidence for both sides.

How Brands Can Make Facebook Stores Pay Off

Last week, investors poured money into ShopIgniter and Milyoni, companies that build Facebook storefronts for merchants and retailers. Many are skeptical about that opportunity, but with thousands of merchants building Facebook stores, it’s worth examining the challenges and what could make those stores effective shopping vehicles.

Is Group Gift Buying Poised for Take-Off?

Merchants have been able to tap the power of collective buying through start-ups like Groupon. Now, online retailers are poised to start leveraging the power of social commerce with the help of group gift buying start-ups that are integrating gifting widgets on their sites.

How Social Commerce Really Works & Why

We have only just taken first steps towards what is real (online) social commerce. Ex-Googler and current Facebook product manager articulates this in a must-read presentation, How Your Customers’ Social Circles Influence What They Buy, What They Do and Where They Go. Take a look.

Spiceworks Picks Up $25M to Build Facebook for IT

Spiceworks has raised a $25 million fourth round of funding from Adams Capital and Tenaya Capital to continue building out a community of IT professionals that use the Spiceworks software to monitor their companies’ networks. That community is like a Facebook for IT.

How Much is Facebook’s Market Power Worth?

Putting a value on Facebook is beyond many of us, but the social network is the most important player in social media. To better compete against, partner with or invest in Facebook, it’s worth evaluating its market positions, strengths and weaknesses.

The Next Wave of Social Media Nears Critical Mass

When it comes to consumer technologies, how big is big enough? When do they really start to gain momentum, and what happens when they do? These are questions of critical mass — the tipping point when user adoption starts producing the hockey-stick growth that fosters sustainable businesses.

Facebook Dominated the Social Media Pack in Q3

For third-quarter social media and real-time technologies, most of the action was in consumer services, and much of it — from social gaming to location-based services and advertising dollars — was influenced by Facebook. Here is a brief look back at the NewNet action highlights from last quarter.

Social Shop Till You Drop: A Quick Primer

Social shopping is all the rage, with new money flowing into new startups every day. Is it a bubble? The answer is no: despite the outward appearance of being an overcrowded marketplace, it is a new era for e-commerce.