19 June 2012
Facebook is set to acquire Israel-based Face.com, the facial recognition firm it uses to tag photos, bringing its employees and technology in-house.
The deal is thought to be worth around $55-60 million in cash and stock though neither party has confirmed the details of the transaction.
The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves designed to strengthen the social network’s photo sharing feature but Face.com has moved to reassure its developer community, stating that it will continue to be supported outside of the Facebook site.
Face.com launched in 2007 and already has two services up on Facebook. One is called Photo Tagger, which allows users to scan their or their friends' photos for known faces. The app scans photos and batches people for suggested tags that one can then approve.
The company also has a service, called Photo Finder, which works similarly to Photo Tagger, where the application scans Facebook photos in your networks and finds pictures of you that you never knew were there.
A Facebook spokesman said of the Face.com deal: "People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends. Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house."
Gil Hirsch, the founder of Face.com, wrote the following on the company’s blog about the purchase: "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…We love building products, and like our friends at Facebook, we think that mobile is a critical part of people’s lives as they both create and consume content, and share content with their social graph."
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