Breaking: Facebook Acquires Parakey

Just received word from Facebook that the company has made its first acquisition: Parakey, a startup founded by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, co-founders of Mozilla Firefox. Ross and Hewitt will join Facebook immediately to work on the Facebook Platform. From Facebook’s Brandee Barker:

“Blake and Joe built the Firefox web browser and then turned to the developer community to build on top of the foundation they’d established, not unlike what we’ve done with Facebook Platform,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “The work they’ve done with Firefox and Parakey and their approach to building products fit right in at Facebook.”

Ross and Hewitt are best known as the co-founders of Firefox, which has been downloaded more than 300 million times by people worldwide. Hewitt went on to build popular web development tools such as Firebug. In early 2006, Ross and Hewitt founded Parakey to build a platform bridging the gap between information on the web and the desktop.

“Facebook Platform is finally making it easy to share experiences with friends and family over the web, a goal Joe and I have worked toward for years,” said Ross. “We are thrilled to join the most innovative technology company in the industry.”

For the last two years Parakey has been developing a platform that will synchronize your documents and files across web and desktop applications. Ross spoke to IEEE Spectrum last November describing the service as a “Web operating system.”

Parakey is intended to be a platform for tools that can manipulate just about anything on your hard drive—e-mail, photos, videos, recipes, calendars. In fact, it looks like a fairly ordinary Web site, which you can edit. You can go online, click through your files and view the contents, even tweak them. You can also check off the stuff you want the rest of the world to be able to see. Others can do so by visiting your Parakey site, just as they would surf anywhere else on the Web. Best of all, the part of Parakey that’s online communicates with the part of Parakey running on your home computer, synchronizing the contents of your Parakey pages with their latest versions on your computer. That means you can do the work of updating your site off-line, too. Friends and relatives—and hackers—do not have direct access to your computer; they’re just visiting a site that reflects only the portion of your stuff that you want them to be able to see.

Parakey is Facebook’s first publicly announced acquisition. The company reportedly received seed funding from Doug Leone at Sequoia Capital in early 2005 and later O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, but Facebook is not releasing financial terms of the transaction.


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29 Responses to “Breaking: Facebook Acquires Parakey”

  1. - Facebook Hacks, Tricks, Tips, and Wall ASCII says:

    [...] Inside Facebook and TechCrunch]Technorati Tags: Facebook, parakey, google, applications, firefox, Techcrunch, [...]

  2. Mike Veytsel says:

    I think this hints at the breadth of scope of Facebook’s vision, and foreshadows their plans for expanding the platform.

    By bridging the personal OS to the social OS, they can create a free flow of data that would give the incentive and power for users (with the help of application developers) to begin shifting their file data online, where they can access, distribute, and share it in a social environment, unrestricted from the relative silo of the PC.

  3. » Blog Archive » Inside Facebook » Breaking: Facebook Acquires Parakey says:

    [...] Inside Facebook » Breaking: Facebook Acquires Parakey : my thoughts on this… Facebook is moving out of the web. Pretty simple really. Centralizing your life around your profile, this software will let it extend into any device you have (potentially) to keep your information ecosystem and social ecosystem consistent. Pretty cool really. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed. [...]

  4. Insider Chatter by Donna Bogatin » Facebook OS: Deals Blow to Google Gears with Parakey Buy says:

    [...] Now, Facebook is stealing Google’s Gears’ thunder by acquiring startup Parakey, and Moz… [...]

  5. » Is Facebook going to compete with Adobe AIR | The Universal Desktop | says:

    [...] continues its progress unimpeded and today announced that they’ve purchased Parakey, a still-secret startup that was started by Mozilla co-founders [...]

  6. Cloudy Thinking » Blog Archive » Will Facebook + Parakey Become THE Web Operating System? says:

    [...] Facebook has acquired Parakey. This might mean Facebook will extend it’s alreday wildly popular API to include desktop persistent objects. [...]

  7. Scripting News for 7/19/2007 « Scripting News Annex says:

    [...] I’ve had a chance to get to know the Parakey guys, and I can vouch for their idealism. They just joined Facebook. So that bodes well for Facebook [...]

  8. Facebook compra Parakey y abre su juego | Denken Über says:

    [...] Facebook compró Parakey la empresa que fundaron Blake Ross y Joe Hewitt, cofundadores a su vez de Firefox, y que busca armar una plataforma híbrida entre los contenidos de tu disco rígido y una comunidad online.. ¿les suena? Es similar a la idea de una plataforma como la que está armando Facebook para crecer pero extendiendola a documentos, mails, y todo lo que tengas en tu PC. [...]

  9. Parakey goes to Facebook : Brij Singh’s One More Idea says:

    [...] Justin Smith has a breaking news about Facebook acquiring Parakey: Just received word from Facebook that the company has made its first acquisition: Parakey, a startup founded by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, co-founders of Mozilla Firefox.  Ross and Hewitt will join Facebook immediately to work on the Facebook Platform. [...]

  10. friendism - tracking web says:

    [...] Facebook acquires Parakey, created by Firefox co-founders Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, and backed by Doug Leone at Sequoia. The [...]

  11. Facebook Acquires Parakey « Daily Rambling Thoughts says:

    [...] Java EE 6 Spec: Finalized With a But Facebook Acquires Parakey July 20th, 2007 Just received word from Facebook that the company has made its first acquisition: Parakey, a startup founded by Blake Ross and Joe [...]

  12. Facebook Acquires Web OS Parakey says:

    [...] their first acquisition, the folks of Facebook decided to buy Parakey, a closed beta web operating system. Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, the team behind Parakey, will join [...]

  13. Facebook goes large | Ugh!!’s Greymatter Honeypot says:

    [...] news in the press today is that Facebook has just acquired Parakey. For those who haven’t heard of Parakey before, they’re an outfit working on closing [...]

  14. Facebook Considering an Offline Version? | Marketing Pilgrim says:

    [...] has acquired Sequoia Capital-back Parakey and everyone’s speculating what they plan to do with the new company. Om Malik suspects [...]

  15. mind says:

    unless this is built on solid crypto such that facebook themselves can’t possibly read anything you publish, it’s useless

  16. Pyro - Desktop Inside Web | iface thoughts says:

    [...] It is still at infancy stage and there will be more questions to solve, but the direction in which it is growing can very well give us the closest integration of Web and desktop by bringing Web to the desktop. When I read about it, I found it similar in goals to Parakey, which was recently acquired by Facebook. [...]

  17. Douglas McFarlane says:

    Isn’t it great how critics jump in without seeing ANY product, without understanding the concept, the plans or the strategy.

    When more information is available, assess and critique it then. Until then, it’s all vapourware.

    I’m in touch with the developers and hope to bring facts when they are available.

  18. Facebook acquires Parakey « Perfectly Reasonable Deviations says:

    [...] Facebook Acquires Parakey (Inside Facebook) [...]

  19. Facebook pulls in Parakey–the new face of the web is born | A View from the Isle says:

    [...] broke the story that Facebook was acquiring WebOS startup Parakey (see also Inside Facebook  and for Read/Write Web’s background on Parakey).  Since I’m sitting here in [...]

  20.   Breaking: Facebook Acquires Parakey by los Clasificado says:

    [...] of Mozilla Firefox. Ross and Hewitt will join Facebook immediately. … Lea mas en Justin Smith traido a usted por [...]

  21. Facebook acquires Parakey says:

    [...] popular lately, and it appears that they have no intention in slowing down seeing as they just bought Parakey. What exactly is Parakey? For the last two years Parakey has been developing a platform that will [...]

  22. Facebook acquires Parakey : Teknicks Blog says:

    [...] popular lately, and it appears that they have no intention in slowing down seeing as they just bought Parakey. What exactly is Parakey? For the last two years Parakey has been developing a platform that will [...]

  23. Mark Evans - Anyone Tired of Facebook Yet? says:

    [...] the constant friendship requests….and people recommending new applications…and Facebook buying start-ups….and venture capitalists thinking about investing in start-ups developing Facebook [...]

  24. Windows Social OS could kill Facebook « Squash says:

    [...] have already shown that they’re not oblivious to this threat. They’re only acquisition has been Parakey – a technology that is about synching your computer and your online experience. Facebook is clearly [...]

  25. The importance of Facebook explained for those who do not get it: Staying in contact with your Contacts | Scharnetzki´s - line of reasoning says:

    [...] Facebook acquired recently Parakey (please find this and other great news about Facebook on the “Inside Facebook” blog), a company that maybe will provide Facebook with technology to extend its platform further to [...]

  26. Inside Facebook » Facebook Hires Mozilla’s Mike Schroepfer as Director of Engineering says:

    [...] was likely courted to Facebook by Blake Ross, the Mozilla co-founder who joined Facebook when it acquired his company, Parakey, last summer. Facebook continues to grow out its engineering team, and is investing heavily in [...]

  27. » Facebook neste p says:

    [...] Facebook har tjent mye penger de siste

  28. Breaking: FriendFeed Acquired by Facebook says:

    [...] acquisition would be only the second in Facebook’s history. Two years ago, the company acquired “web OS” company Parakey in a hire-by-acquisition deal that brought Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt to the [...]

  29. Eilmeldung: Facebook kauft FriendFeed » says:

    [...] Für Facebook, das noch keine schwarzen Zahlen schreibt, ist dies die zweite Akquistion nach der eher gering dimensionierten Übernahme von Parakey vor zwei Jahren. [...]

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