In May, Facebook acquired social and mobile gifting service Karma. In fact, news of the acquisition came out on the same day that Facebook went public, indicating that the company was wasting no time in laying the groundwork for expanding its monetization efforts.
With Karma, users can send gifts with cards, and it will notify the user's friend via text message, email or Facebook. They can accept the gift as is or swap it for something else, or donate the value of it to charity. They enter their address, and Karma sends the gift.
It looks like we may soon start seeing similar functionality from Facebook itself.
While the news is unconfirmed, TheNextWeb is reporting that Facebook is about to launch a social gifting service in "a matter of weeks," saying that it has learend from "well-informed source" that the service will be based on Karma, will only be in the U.S. (like Karma), and that the move is "primarily meant to beef up Facebook's mobile monetization efforts".
This is certainly not the only recent development in Facebook's mobile monetization efforts. Reports surfaced this week that Facebook is even testing a mobile ad network.
Karma continues to operate as a standalone product for the time being.