April 25, 2014
Company Behind Fitness App ‘Moves’ Joins The Ranks At Facebook
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Facebook, which has made some high profile acquisitions in recent memory, has also made all the right moves acquiring app developers to compliment its mobile presence. This week, the social media giant showed it doesn't plan on slowing down as it acquired the maker of fitness tracking app Moves.ProtoGeo Oy, a Helsinki Finland-based company, has fewer than 10 employees so Facebook’s ranks won’t exactly swell from this latest acquisition. However, the latest move does allow Facebook to enter the burgeoning health and fitness market.
The Finnish company was founded in January 2012 to develop a daily fitness diary for smartphones, which was launched a year later in January 2013. It was a “surprise hit” on the iOS and has been downloaded some four million times on the Apple App Store and has also been doing well on Android devices.
The company confirmed that it was acquired by the social network on Thursday.
“Today, we're delighted to announce that Facebook has acquired our company and the Moves app. Since we launched Moves, we’ve been focused on running a simple and clean activity diary that millions of people have enjoyed using,” the company announced on its website. “Now, we’re joining Facebook’s talented team to work on building and improving their products and services with a shared mission of supporting simple, efficient tools for more than a billion people.
“For those of you that use the Moves app – the Moves experience will continue to operate as a standalone app, and there are no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook,” the post added.
Facebook has not disclosed what it paid for ProtoGeo, but as the BBC noted, “it is believed to be a fraction of the price it has paid for more high-profile firms recently. It paid $2bn (£1.1bn) for Oculus VR and spent $19bn (£11.3bn) on WhatsApp.”
Fitness is a different move for the company; the Moves app runs in the background of a users’ phone, and utilizes location data to monitor activities throughout the day.
“The Moves team has built an incredible tool for the millions of people who want to better understand their daily fitness activity, and we're looking forward to the app continuing to gain momentum,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement following the announcement of the acquisition.
This could also be a play to allow Facebook to enter the fitness market and test the waters for future acquisitions, while keeping Moves out of reach of rivals.
Google announced in March that it is developing a special version of its Android operating system that would be used in smartwatches and other types of wearable computers. The Android Wear project could enable devices that could be used to monitor health and fitness.
While still very much in its infancy the wearables market could see substantial growth in the future.
Juniper Research had forecast that the wearable business is expected to exceed $1.5 billion in 2014, double that of last year.