After about a month of speculation, the social networking giant finally announced its purchase on Monday of an Israeli startup company – Face.com, which supports facial recognition technology. The mega deal is estimated at $100 million.
Face.com offers accurate facial recognition software that could help Facebook users identify people in photos faster, both on desktop and mobile. The application is already integrated with Facebook and allows users to auto-tag friends in photos one at a time or in the entire album.
The Tel Aviv-based startup announced the acquisition on its blog on Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The company expressed its gratitude to third-party developers in their blog post: “We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community," they wrote.
The Israeli company said that by working with Facebook directly it will have more opportunities to develop technology that people will use.
Face.com did not say whether its website will continue to run after the acquisition. Facebook commonly shutters sites that it acquires and folds in their employees to its work force.
In a statement, California-based Facebook confirmed the deal but declined to elaborate on the terms or plans for the company.
The company was established in 2009, and maintains an office in Tel Aviv with 20 employees. The startup, headed by co-founder and CEO Gil Hirsch, has developed and released two Facebook applications: Photo Finder and Photo Tagger.
Face.com is not the first Israeli startup to be acquired by Facebook. Just last year, the networking giant purchased an application based on the technology of Israeli company Snaptu, which was bought for some $70 million.
AP contributed to this report