Facebook announced an agreement to acquire Israeli facial-recognition company Face.com for an undisclosed sum Monday, giving the Menlo Park company more fodder for its photo-tagging service as well as a website address similar to its own.
Face.com is a 5-year-old private company that offers free and paid versions of its facial-recognition technology while focusing on social uses in apps and software.
"By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we'll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers -- that's all we've ever wanted to do," Face.com cofounder and CEO Gil Hirsch wrote in a blog post on the site.
Facebook emailed a statement Monday that confirmed the acquisition of the technology and the company's workers.
"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.
The acquisition gives Facebook more experience in identifying people in photographs, which it uses to ease "tagging" of photos shared on the social network, though some European countries have expressed unhappiness with the social network's auto-tagging services, citing privacy issues. There was no word on whether Face.com would be
shut down, but Facebook has purchased many domain names similar to its own -- such as Facebok.com -- and route users who type in those domains to Facebook.
Facebook's announcement is the second proposed acquisition of an Israeli startup by a major Silicon Valley company in the past year, after Apple (AAPL) in December agreed to purchase flash-memory maker Anobit, which was reportedly the Cupertino tech giant's most expensive acquisition in its history.
Facebook, the world's most popular social network, has plenty of cash on hand thanks to a record-breaking initial public offering last month that brought in $16 billion and valued the company at $104 billion. Facebook stock has lost value since debuting on the Nasdaq stock exchange exactly a month before the acquisition was announced Monday, falling as low as $25.52 in public trading after IPO shares were sold for $38 apiece.
Facebook stock had its first positive week last week, gaining 10.7 percent, and gains continued in Monday's morning session. Facebook stock had risen as high as $32.08 by 10:15 a.m. Pacific time Monday, when shares were trading for $31.73, an increase of $1.72, or 5.7 percent, from Friday's closing price.
Most Popular Stories
- Trial Coming Soon for Soldier in WikiLeaks Case
- Ladies in White Group Needs Help From Abroad
- Financial Markets 'Confused' Over Tolls Ruling: VDOT
- Arias Mistrial Denied Despite Withdrawal of Character Witness
- Mile-wide Tornado Rips Up Oklahoma City
- Wal-Mart Misses Forecast
- Darden Competition for Small Businesses Opens
- Heroin Returns in Florida's War on Pill Mills
- Bernanke Predicts Gains From High Tech
- Fleet Week Canceled in NYC