Walmart Gets Orwellian with Your Facebook and Twitter

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) keeps a watch on e-commerce by purchasing OneRiot, a mobile ad targeter. One Riot sends targeted ads by picking up signals from social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

This deal comes five months after Walmart purchased Kosmix, a Twitter app developer, and reused it as @WalmartLabs, which is an e-commerce and social media R&D lab based in California.

This is an idea similar to the gift-recommendation software Shopycat that @WalmartLabs has been testing for triggering these ads on mobile devices. “‘The technology at the core of what we do [at @Walmartlabs] is the Social Genome, which enables us to connect millions of consumers with the best products based on their interests at any given moment. The OneRiot technology will enrich the Social Genome, and the OneRiot team adds to the already deep expertise we have around social data analysis,’ according to Walmart,” reports Ad Age Digital.

Walmart’s move into high tech targeting puts pressure on competitors such as Target (NYSE:TGT) — no pun intended — Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Macy’s (NYSE:M), Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) and J.C. Penny (NYSE:JCP). The race is on for our limited attention span and shopping dollars.

Walmart’s stock (NYSE:WMT) is up 0.65% to $52.86 on the news. Shares are down 2% year to date. The stock has traded in a 52-week range between $48.31 and $57.90.