Social Shopping App Kuplia Wins Facebook App Contest

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Newcomer Kuplia takes top prize at the Facebook Developer Garage hackathon, and looks to change the way people shop online.

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The newly-formed Kuplia team took home top prize at the first ever Facebook Developer Garage hackathon at the Facebook headquarters last weekend.

Kuplia is a shopping application that tracks interests in products and intentions across users' social graph. The result is a discussion and planning space where users can bounce ideas and seek advice from their friends' experiences with customer care or product quality. The focus is on giving users for shopping and planning events, rather than a firehose of people's purchases. Kuplia aims to foster a more traditional approach to shopping where users seek the feedback of people they trust, rather than reviews by strangers.

This fundamental shift from evaluating the importance of internet information from a global context to a social one is an idea whose time has come, as evidenced by the rapidly growing question and answer site Quora, the 1.5 million monthly active users on NetworkedBlogs, and the ubitquitous Facebook "Like" buttons. Kuplia is built on Facebook Connect, Facebook's shared login and social context platform, to help integrate the user's friend's opinions into each user's presentation of data. Kuplia is unique in its application of this phenomenon to purchasing decisions, but stands poised over a very powerful idea as the consumer's "intent to buy" is much of what fuels the current internet marketplace, especially in advertising and affiliate systems.

The team was excited to announce signups for a beta launch of their services earlier this week, accessible at http://www.kuplia.com/.

The Kuplia Team is founded by former director of engineering at PBWorks Brian Klug, former Be UXer and commissioned artist Jenny Tsai, former NASA roboticist and Googler Katy Levinson, and former CEO of MyFit and engineer Max Hodak. The team is one of the many startups based out of the Hacker Dojo space in Mountain View.

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Brian Klug

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