Following weeks of speculation, it’s finally been confirmed that Facebook has another takeover in the works. They’re about to acquire the Israel-based startup Face.com, a company that specializes in the development of facial recognition technology for mobile devices.
The acquisition of Face.com, a company that has already partnered with Facebook before, is just the latest in a long line of deals by the social network giant as it looks to beef up its own capabilities.
Facebook already makes use of Face.com’s technology for the purpose of tagging and indentifying other people in photos, which is one of the core elements of Facebook’s ongoing success. Earlier this year, Facebook took steps to ensure its dominance of social photo sharing with the $1 billion purchase of Instagram, a popular photo app and social network that many had viewed as a potential competitor to the site.
Face.com explained the reasons for its decision to sell to Facebook in a blog post on its own website:
“We love building products, and like our friends at Facebook, we think that mobile is a critical part of people’s lives as they both create and consume content, and share contentwith their social graph. By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers – that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.”
Facebook made their own brief comments on the deal, releasing a short statement that echoed those sentiments:
“Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house.”
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but various reports have suggested that the deal could be worth anything from $80 million – $100 million. It should prove to be money well spent, as Facebook will now be able to take make full use of recent advancements Face.com has made with mobile – potentially leading to enhanced mobile tagging options in the near future.
Right now, there must be millions of untagged mobile photo uploads on Facebook, simply because doing so is far too much hassle for people on the go. Consequently, Facebook is missing out on a whole host of engagement opportunities, because the majority of users will immediately take notice when they are tagged somewhere.
Face.com specializes in mobile facial recognition, and so it’s the theory is that Facebook will have one eye on developing the capability to provide instant tagging options to mobile photo uploads, allowing users to tag images the moment they’re uploaded.