Facebook Acquires Israeli Facial Recognition Company Face.com
BY Maeghan Ouimet
The social media company has snapped up another photo start-up, but this time it involved far less fanfare.
Facebook has snapped up another photo start-up. But this isn't another Instagram.
The social network, which is also the Web's largest online photo repository, has announced an agreement to acquire Israeli facial recognition company Face.com, according to Silicon Valley's Mercury News. Facebook did not disclose the terms of the deal.
Unlike when the company acquired Instagram for $1 billion, Facebook has remained relatively mum about Face.com, only confirming the deal in an email to the Mercury News.
"People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com's technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a longtime technology vendor in house," a Facebook spokeswoman wrote in an email to Mercury News.
Facebook has used the company's software to power its auto-tagging feature in photos for more than two years. Face.com offers both free and paid versions of its software (which can recognize gender and age, as well as an individual in photos) for both Web and, more importantly, mobile platforms.
Face.com confirmed the acquisition on its company blog Monday. "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," Face.com founder and CEO Gil Hirsch wrote on the company blog.
As Hirsch hints, the acquisition could be a way for Facebook to beef up its mobile experience, the part of the business that the company has admitted it hasn't been able to monetize well.