Taking Business Elsewhere: Wal-Mart Gets Into Social Networking

Interesting report from PR Daily about Wal-Mart’s new venture into social media. While Facebook and Twitter are currently tools of commerce for some businesses, it seems Wal-Mart expects the platform to become an even bigger force for sales:

Walmart and social media?

It seems an unlikely pairing, but the retail giant has signed an agreement to purchase Mountain View, Calif.-based social media startup Kosmix for a cool $300 million.

Founders Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman and the Kosmix team will operate as part of the new @WalmartLabs and continue to be based in Silicon Valley.

According to a press release, Walmart plans to expand @WalmartLabs. I imagine it will be tasked with Walmart’s cache of discounted products, available for purchase via every piece of Internet-accessible hardware on the planet.

Business Insider sees it as more of a move toward social commerce:

“The bottom line is that social commerce is starting to turn into a reality. People are turning to social networks more and more to decide on what to buy, and the businesses who are on the forefront of that trend will reap a windfall.”

Awesome. Now I’ll have official Facebook confirmation that my friend’s mom likes tchotchkes, Americana art, and cute outfits for her dog.

Thanks, Kosmix.