Social networking software

Gift Giving 2.0: Mine Your Friends' Facebook Profiles for Potential Gift Ideas

Can't figure out what to get people on your holiday gift list this year? Instead of wracking your brain for hours or wandering the mall in futility, maybe you should turn to their Facebook profiles for hints.

Welcome to gift giving 2.0--there are now several services that will mine your friends' Facebook data and put it to work for you (or against you, depending on how you look at it). These services combine the power of Facebook data with online shopping to come up with personalized gift recommendations for all of your Facebook friends.

GiveEmThis.com

Imply Labs' GiveEmThis connects to your Facebook account and analyzes your friends' profiles to come up with gift recommendations.

To begin, choose the friend you want to buy a gift for and enter their gender and age to help narrow gift selections. GiveEmThis will then look at your friend's status updates, "Likes," events, and general profile information to figure out what they might be interested in. After a few seconds, the site will compile a list of possible gift options available on Amazon.com, in a variety of price ranges. All you have to do is click on the gift you like best, and you'll be taken to Amazon.com where you can make your purchase.

GiveEmThis also gives you the option of sharing gift suggestions or entire gift lists via Facebook, Twitter, or email. GiveEmThis does not post any information to your Facebook wall, so your friends won't discover your gift-giving secrets unless you explicitly share a gift idea with them.

GiveEmThis can also further customize gift recommendations by analyzing a Facebook friend's Twitter stream.

Chrift.com

Chrift is similar to GiveEmThis--it analyzes Facebook friends' profiles and spits back gift recommendations. Chrift does let you choose minimum and maximum gift prices to further narrow your options, though you can of course opt to set no budget.

Similar to GiveEmThis, Chrift sorts through your friend's Facebook profile to figure out what they might like. Chrift breaks down its gift selections into categories, such as music, movies, books, games, and gift cards. Chrift also says that your activity on its Website will not find its way back to Facebook, so you'll be able to keep your gift-giving secrets…secret.

Amazon Gift Suggestions

Amazon.com has its own answer to gift recommendations: its Amazon Facebook tool.

But, while Amazon's Facebook tool scans your Facebook friends' profiles for gifts, it operates on a slightly different profile. Instead of analyzing profiles, Amazon tries to match up your friends with their Amazon.com accounts, and give you access to their Amazon wish lists. After all, the easiest way to ensure your gift will be appreciated is to buy something they've explicitly asked for.

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