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Facebook Recognizes Face.com

May 29, 2012

Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com

As it turns out, when you decide to take your over-inflated social networking company public, you want to make the thing as profitable and sustainable as possible. This shouldn´t surprise anyone, and as such, the rumors have begun to fly about who and what Facebook will be acquiring and buying. Yesterday, for instance, the rumor du jour was the once-fabled Facebook smartphone.

Now, rumors are beginning to pop up about another possible Zuck purchase to once again bolster their photos section of the site.

According to Israel´s Calcalist (Translated Link) Facebook plans to purchase facial recognition start-up Face.com for “tens of millions of dollars.”

Later, another Hebrew language site NewsGeek (Translated Link) reported the deal could go through for up to $100 million.

Now, as GigaOm reports, Facebook might not be buying Face.com right out. Rather, the Menlo Park company could buy Moscow-based search engine Yandex´s claim of the company, giving them a hand in the business without buying it outright.

According to Russian newspaper Vedmosti (Translated Link), “One of the shareholders of Face.com is Russia´s Yandex which, in autumn 2010 together with Israeli investment fund Rhodium, invested $4.3 million in return for 18.4 percent of the company and the move for its CEO, Arkady Volozh, to join Face.com´s board of directors.”

“Yandex is in talks to sell its stake in Face.com, says a source close to the company. The source told Vedomosti about the negotiations for the sale, which Yandex wants to do in exchange for money and Facebook stock.”

This isn´t the first time Facebook has tried to acquire Face.com. While it seems money had previously been a stop gap in the purchase of the facial recognition, Facebook´s recent IPO, no matter how over-inflated, has left them with enough cash to begin making purchases such as these. Perhaps $100 million will finally be the number Face.com has been waiting for Facebook to push across the table?

Face.com was founded in 2007 and since then has registered more than 100,000 users, a paltry amount when compared to Instagram´s 1 billion.

Face.com uses their own proprietary technology to detect and recognize faces in photos. Face.com works on iPhone through the KLIK app, which uses the facial recognition technology to quickly tag photos as they are uploaded to Facebook. They also have two different apps for Facebook, Photo Finder and Photo Tagger. These apps work in the same way, as Photo Finder scans a folder for friends´ faces, while Photo Tagger takes the tedium out of clicking on faces to tag them.

With all of these photo-centric acquisitions being made by Facebook lately, one has to wonder if the social networking giant aims to take on the likes of Flickr instead of Apple or Google. Of course, as a company built around nothing more than browsing and sharing, it´s just as likely that Facebook will take whatever revenue they get a hold of. With each of these technologies built into their photo-sharing portion of the site, Facebook could likely be the best sharing site on the web.


Source: Michael Harper for RedOrbit.com



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