Walmart To Mine Facebook For Recommendations

Retail giant Walmart will use technology from Kosmix, a social media startup it acquired in April, to mine data from Facebook users’ profiles in an attempt to tweak its search results to match their interests.

TechCrunch reported that the technology from Kosmix, now known as @WalmartLabs, will gather information from the Facebook and Twitter profiles of users who opt in, and use nuggets like a user’s favorite team or band to ensure that relevant recommendations are displayed when that user searches Walmart.com.

The @WalmartLabs technology will also analyze friends’ profiles in order to offer relevant items on wish lists, according to TechCrunch.

Walmart Senior Vice President of the Global E-Commerce Division and Kosmix co-founder Anand Rajaraman told TechCrunch, “Purchases are a window into your interests, but they’re a small window,” adding that his company’s technology will differ from that of fellow retailer Amazon.com by focusing on what users currently like, rather than relying solely on past purchases.

Rajaraman added that Walmart will not use consumers’ data for any other purposes, and he told TechCrunch the chain had no plans to add Groupon-type discounts, since it already offers “everyday low prices.”

Readers: Would you find a service like the upcoming one from @WalmartLabs useful, or do you prefer to shop around and discover items on your own?

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