Facebook has acquired the motion tracking app for Android and iPhone ‘Moves,‘ the startup announced today via a blog post. The company’s founders say that the Moves crew will join Facebook’s team to “work on building and improving their products and services” and that the Moves app will continue to operate on its own as a standalone experience.
Currently, Moves says that there aren’t any plans to bring Moves data to Facebook’s social graph directly, or change how it operates, so this sounds like it could be another case similar to that which Facebook employs with running WhatsApp and Instagram. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed his company’s broader app strategy in an interview with the NYT, and in that discussion, he acknowledged that the company would be building a number of experiences, some of which would carry FB branding and some of which would not.
No price was disclosed for the acquisition, but it buys Facebook entry into the emerging fitness and activity tracking market. Moves is an app-only solution in this space, which seems to be a wise move for Facebook at this stage, as Nike has recently shown signs of exiting the hardware portion of the business, and there are broader indications that the fitness gadget market has been slow to start so far.
The fitness and health software market seems poised to explode, however, especially as major tech companies like Apple and Google continue to build platforms and devices designed to better track user activity and translate that into health-related data. Companies like Moves differentiate themselves based on their own unique movement data interpretation algorithms, which turn info gathered from sensors built into devices like accelerometers into user-friendly stats like steps taken, calories burned and more.
According to the WSJ, Moves has racked up more than four million downloads across Android and iOS since its launch last January. The app also offers an API for third-party devs to build software using its data, and the catalog of apps employing that access now numbers above 40. Access to the API will remain open under the new ownership.