How many mobile acquisitions and team hires can Facebook do in one month? Too many to count, apparently. There was mobile commerce startup Karma, then they hired the team from Android developer shop Lightbox.
Now the developers from Pieceable, which created an easy way for publishers to build their apps and preview them in a web browser, are joining Facebook. Note: Unlike Karma, this is not acquisition of the company or its technology. As Facebook has grown up and now has the ability to make big ticket acquisitions like the nearly $1 billion agreement to buy Instagram, the company has become more conservative in terms of what it considers an acquisition and what isn’t one.
What could the Pieceable team end up working on? They could end up creating more tools for the mobile platform, akin to the web-based app viewer or the build-your-own-mobile-app service they had developed before. Or they could just work on Facebook’s plain old mobile apps too. The company’s original founder Fred Potter had worked on mobile apps for Loopt, the early location sharing service that was recently acquired by Green Dot.
Or they could help out with Facebook’s games team. It looks like Jameson Hsu, who was a co-founder of Mochi Media, also joined the company in early January as CEO. He could help with outreach to mobile game developers. His company Mochi Media was acquired by Chinese gaming giant Shanda in 2010.
Here’s Pieceable’s statement:
Pieceable is joining Facebook!
We created Pieceable Viewer in early 2011 to provide an easy, low-friction way to demonstrate native iOS apps within a web browser. Since our launch, we’ve served over 800,000 app demos. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to become part of the daily workflow for so many companies. To our customers: thank you!
We will be winding down the Pieceable service at the end of the year so we can focus on the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook. Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology, or customer data. We know many of you have come to rely on the Pieceable service, and we want to make sure that you can continue to do so even after we shut down our hosted service on December 31, 2012. In a few months, we’ll be releasing an open source version of Pieceable Viewer that you’ll be able to run on your own Mac hardware – we’ll have more details on that soon.
We want to give special thanks to I/O Ventures. Without their support, guidance and insight we wouldn’t be where we are today. We sincerely thank Paul Bragiel, Ashwin Navin, and the rest of the team at I/O for their partnership.
We can’t wait to begin working with the Facebook team to help our friends, family, and more than 900 million others connect and share in new ways.
Fred, Bob, and Jameson