We’ve heard from multiple sources that the acquisition price was around $100m, with others reporting that the price was between $80m-$100m. (Update: We’re now hearing from a source familiar with the matter that the price was between $55 and $60 million, and that it was a mix of cash and stock. The exact value of the deal will be changing depending on the price of Facebook’s stock.) This is absolutely not an acqui-hire, as Facebook will be taking full advantage of the company’s technology and the advancements it’s made on mobile — perhaps to finally include mobile tagging options for photos.
As Face.com’s speciality is mobile facial recogition, it could potentially allow you to upload a photo to Facebook while on the go, instantly receive suggestions of whom to tag, and confirm the tags with one click.
This is important to Facebook because right now there’s probably a ton of untagged mobile photos getting posted. Those are lost opportunities for engagement because when you get notified that you’ve been tagged in a photo, you probably visit Facebook immediately to check it. These tags also help Facebook understand who a photo is relevant to, so it can feature it in the news feeds of your closest friends.
Face.com’s blog post about the acquisition included a big shout out to third-party developers. “We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community.” Facebook could create some sort of API or otherwise allow app developers to build in Face.com’s facial recognition…as long as they integrated with Facebook and let users share content back to it.
The $1 billion Instagram purchase made it obvious that Facebook sees mobile photos and the communities that share them as critical to its future. Once that acquisition closes, Facebook could even port Face.com’s facial recognition to Instagram.
With Instagram and Facebook Camera on the front end and Face.com on the back, Mark Zuckerberg has the arsenal he needs to win the war for mobile photos.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...
Face.com is helping people find photos, using our home grown best-in-breed facial recognition technologies. The first deployment of our tech is our Photo Finder application for Facebook, today’s largest photo sharing site, which scans public photos in your social network and suggests tags for untagged faces. face.com has offices in Tel Aviv and New York.