The world’s largest social network has acquired facial recognition software company Face.com for an undisclosed fee. The move was widely reported last month when an Israeli business magazine announced rumours of the takeover.
The Tel Aviv, Israel-based Face.com offers application programming interfaces (API) for third-party developers to incorporate its facial-recognition software into their applications. The company has released two Facebook applications: Photo Finder, which lets people find untagged pictures of themselves and their Facebook friends, and Photo Tagger, which lets people automatically bulk-tag photos on Facebook. Face.com launched its open API in 2010 to help third-party developers get into the mix.
Face.com announced the takeover on its blog saying the move will provide “more opportunities” to build products and mentioned mobile as a “critical part of people’s lives”. These comments suggest that this is more than just an acqui-hire and that Face.com software may be a critical part of Facebook’s mobile offerings.
This is the latest purchase in Mark Zuckerberg’s 2012 spending spree. The $1 billion acquisition of Instagram was followed by Glancee and Karma, although the latter two were more acqui-hires.
Face.com thanked its employees for their hard work and dedication and announced that, “The next steps are going to be exciting for all of us.”