hot potato

Confirmed Hot Potato: Yup, Facebook Bought 'Em, Will Soon Shut Them Down

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As we noted nearly a month ago now, Facebook has acquired social activity and ‘check-in’ service provider Hot Potato for about $10 million in cash.

Facebook, fresh from announcing its entry into the location game (our ongoing coverage), and Hot Potato this morning confirmed the acquisition, which is clearly a move by the social networking juggernaut to bring in more talent rather than expanding its product line.

In a blog post, Hot Potato writes:

“This wasn’t an easy decision, especially since we’ve built up a base of dedicated users. If Hot Potato was going to sell to anyone, Facebook was the natural choice. Facebook is still small, moves fast, provides a great supportive environment for people to be entrepreneurial, and most importantly, Facebook builds great products. We’re looking forward to joining their team.”

The startup also says that they’ll be shutting down all operations in about a month and delete all data, as we anticipated. New user registrations have already been turned off, and Hot Potato says it will soon offer existing users a way to download their information from the site (here). No user data or account information will be kept by Facebook, they add.

Hot Potato, which launched at our Realtime CrunchUp event last November, raised a small $1.42 million Series A round late last year from a number of early-stage investment firms and a slew of angel investors.

The young company initially focused strongly on check-ins based around events, and later pivoted more towards check-ins based on anything you may be doing.

We recently reported Facebook is planning for more and potentially larger acquisitions in the future, and that they’re recruiting dealmakers to make things happen.

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