Facebook has just added another deal to its hasty string of acquisitions, in what may be the last acquisition before the forthcoming IPO. This time it’s a talent hire, bringing in the entire seven-member developer team behind Android photo-sharing app Lightbox.
Lightbox creates innovative mobile products, especially for Android and HTML5. The Lightbox Photo app automatically sets personal photo blogs based on a user’s uploads.
“The Lightbox team has incredible experience developing innovative mobile products that people love,” Facebook told AllThingsD. “We look forward to welcoming this world-class team of engineers to Facebook.”
The London-based Lightbox team will join Facebook, but the social network will not acquire any other data or services from Lightbox expect for the seven members joining Facebook’s team. In the coming weeks, Lightbox will be open-sourcing portions of the code written for Lightbox and posting them to their Github repository.
“We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile, especially for the Android and HTML5 platforms, and we’re honored that millions of you have downloaded the Lightbox Photos app and shared your experiences with the Lightbox community. Today, we’re happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users,” said Thai Tran & Nilesh Patel, Co-founders, Lightbox, in the official Lightbox blog.
Lightbox services will run till June 15th after which the company will shut down the service. Users can download all their information from Lightbox till that date.
Facebook is expected to have their initial public offering on May 17, and in the coming days Facebook’s busy making quite a few acquisitions, mostly in the mobile space. First was the Instagram acquisition for $1 billion, then Tagtile, the customer-loyalty application and finally the acquisition of mobile discovery startup Glancee.
The addition of Lightbox’s mobile developers is another step towards strengthening the Facebook mobile ecosystem. Facebook aims to cater to more mobile developers as they experiment with advertising models in their own network. Facebook, through its mobile products, wants to create a robust platform to monetize and to adopt new advertising and marketing plans, and that will be key for its revenue-generation once it goes public this week.