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June 19, 2012

Facebook buys Face.com

The social network giant has bought facial recognition service Face.com for a rumoured $60m.

By Tineka Smith

Face.com homepage

Face.com is an Israeli startup and its facial recognition technology has already been used by Facebook.

The company was established in 2009 but according to Israeli news publication Calcalist, it has only received $5.3m in funding.

Rumours about the acquisition began last month, just over a week after Facebook’s lacklustre IPO performance.

The social network has been on shopping spree of mobile and photo centred acquisitions since the beginning of the year in efforts to strengthen its weak mobile platform. Facebook bought photo sharing mobile app Instagram for a whopping $1bn along with another photo app called Lightbox before launching its own photo app, ‘Camera’.

Acquiring facial recognition technology could enhance Facebook’s mobile platform offering and increase interaction on its site.
Members would be able to upload photos on their phone and receive tagging and identification suggestions for their friends when using Facebook mobile applications.

The acquisition announcement comes a year after Facebook sparked anger amongst its user when the site used somewhat similar facial recognition technology without informing its users first. The company updated its privacy settings to include information about the feature and users are able to disable it.

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"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," Gil Hirsh, founder of Face.com, said on their blog about the acquisition."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."

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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