The tagline of @WalmartLabs is “Social + Mobile + Retail” and it’s an indicator of where Walmart wants to go with the [Kosmix semantic web] technology it acquired. Walmart wants to tap into social data – for example from Twitter – and entice mobile phone toting customers to its stores. Walmart also wants to beef up its online operations, traditionally a laggard compared to Amazon.com.
Walmart sees the future of retail, and it is mobile devices and social media. They paid $300 million for Kosmix and plan to incorporate it into their business DNA. Walmart was the company that mainstreamed CFL bulbs. They may well do the same for social media and mobile devices.