Lightbox employees go to Facebook, shut down Android photo-sharing app

Facebook has hired the team behind Android photo-sharing app Lightbox, according to a blog post on Lightbox’s website.

The app has already been removed from the Google Play store. It is likely Facebook did not acquire the company or its technology because of its recent acquisition of Instagram. As the social network plans to keep Instagram as a standalone app, the opportunity for Lightbox was diminishing. According to the Google Play store, Lightbox had between 1 million and 5 million installs. Instagram has between 10 million and 50 million.

What Facebook gains is a team that’s focused on mobile and Android specifically. Facebook is seeking to building out its mobile offerings and determine the best way to monetize the rapidly growing user base that accesses the social network from mobile devices. In addition to its $1-billion Instagram purchase, the company also picked up ambient mobile location app Glancee and mobile loyalty startup Tagtile this year.

According to TechCrunch, seven Lightbox employees will join Facebook. This includes Lightbox co-founder Thai Tran, who was previously a product manager for YouTube and Google Maps.

“The Lightbox team has incredible experience developing innovative mobile products that people love. We look forward to welcoming this world-class team of engineers to Facebook,” Facebook said in a statement.

Exisiting Lightbox users can continue to visit and download their photos here. Lightbox says it will open-source portions of the app’s code for other developers to build upon.

Facebook had 488 million users access its site through its mobile site or mobile apps in March. On Monday, the social network redesigned its mobile News Feed so that photos display three times larger.

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