Facebook is in the process of acquiring startup Bang With Friends, according to multiple sources, in order to make a foray into the online dating space. According to these same sources, the acquisition will be a $30 million deal in both cash and stock, as that seems to be the standard M&A terms for gimmicky startups these days.
Concerned about what the success of college-friendly dating apps like Tinder, Crazy Blind Date and Grouper means for the future of social, we’re hearing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to scoop up the service to ramp up Facebook’s competitiveness.
We’re also hearing that Facebook attempted to clone the product, which allows friends to choose which of their friends they’re interested in sleeping with (and connects them if the feeling’s mutual), internally before approaching the founders. Robust staff penetration and rumors that Google is building a competitive hook-up platform called Google F*ck Now also hastened the deal.
According to one source, Facebook considers the dating market to be “bigger than e-commerce,” and it hopes to evolve beyond being a platform for stalking people you are silently crushing on into a platform for actually banging those people. Nine years after its launch, the social network will finally realize its full potential: From stalking to action, making the world “more open and connected” where it counts the most.
Like Instagram, Bang With Friends will remain mostly independent from Facebook. However, integration with Facebook’s core offerings isn’t off the table: potential of a Bang Graph as a supplement to the Social Graph has given some clued-in insiders a proverbial chubby, adding another dimension to Facebook Graph Search. The company plans on launching a mobile app called “Wood” to compete head to head with Tinder by the end of this year.
Bang With Friends has seen a lot of traction in recent months, as stories about the anonymous founders and salacious product have titillated the imaginations of bored bloggers and readers with their minds in the gutter. We’re also hearing that Yahoo’s Adam Cahan had made the startup a competitive offer, but the founders eschewed the portal because of Marissa Mayer’s controversial “bang from home” ban.