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Facebook Gets All Up In Your Face.com With Acquisition

June 18, 2012

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com

Facebook has bought Israel-based facial recognition start-up website Face.com, resolving rumors that have been circulating around for weeks.

Face.com was founded in 2007, and the site offers both desktop and mobile products that scan a user’s photos to identify faces, making tagging photos on Facebook more efficient.

The acquisition will allow the world’s largest social networking site to make it possible for faster tagging from mobile devices.

The purchase comes on the heels of Facebook launching its standalone photo app called “Camera,” which makes it easier for users to snap and upload photos to the social network.

Face.com CEO Gil Hirsch said his company will continue to support third-party developers who use the Face.com API.

“Now, lots of developers use Face.com technology to power various apps and make wonderful products,” he wrote in a blog post. “We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community.”

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Israeli site Newsgeek claims the price is somewhere between $80 to $100 million.

It was a complete acquisition, which means Facebook will not only get the company’s technology, but its talent as well.

“By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we´ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers — that´s all we´ve ever wanted to do,” Hirsch wrote.

“Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people´s lives, and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products,” he said.

Rumors have circulated around for weeks that Facebook has been in talks with Face.com for a possible acquisition.

Facebook attempted its own facial-recognition technology back in December 2010, but it ended up turning off the service several months later.

The new purchase comes just two months after the social networking site shelled out $1 billion for photo-sharing service Instagram.

Facebook’s stock price jumped up almost $2 after news broke of the Face.com purchase, bringing the price of Wall Street’s newest silicon valley firm to about $32.


Source: Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com



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