Parse, the other big acquisition outside of Instagram that Facebook has given a fair bit of autonomy to, has grown about 25 percent month-over-month and now services 100,000 apps.
Around when the deal closed for roughly $85 million excluding retention and bonuses at the end of April, Parse had about 80,000 apps. (In fact, on the day the deal was announced, the company said it had 60,000 apps.)
The company says three factors have helped with the growth: market demand for app infrastructure is rising, developers are passing the service along by word-of-mouth and the Facebook deal actually helped with exposure.
Up until last year, Facebook had mostly done small deals for talent usually in the seven-digit to low eight-digit range. But Instagram and Parse are two big deals that were not only higher-priced strategic acquisitions, they were deals where Facebook allowed the teams to continue to grow their businesses relatively independently. Like Instagram, Parse is keeping its own branding.
The Parse deal was also special for another reason: it gave Facebook a whole new revenue category in paid tools and services for developers. To date, the company has earned the vast majority of its revenue from advertising and then it’s also taken in roughly $200 million a quarter on payments revenue from the platform. Now it has an additional leg of revenue, although the company hasn’t commented on how much it’s earning from its newfound acquisition.
Through Parse, Facebook has been able to offer a mobile-backend-as-a-service product with data storage, hosting, notifications and user management.
That gives it a trifecta of tools to make the company indispensable to mobile developers. Not only does it give identity and social features through the platform, and then user acquisition and marketing resources through new mobile ad products, it provides infrastructure as well.
There are plenty of other competitors though out in the market like Stackmob, Kinvey and Kii Cloud.