Facebook acquires Branch, will form ‘Conversations’

Branch

Facebook has acquired link-sharing service Branch, according to the company’s co-founder, Josh Miller. The Verge reports that the deal is worth about $15 million.

Branch makes it easier for friends to talk about news and current articles, and share the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress or anywhere on the web. Branch’s team will stay in New York, Miller said, and form Facebook’s Conversations group, with the goal of helping people connect with others around shared interests.

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Facebook closes acquisition of Little Eye Labs

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Facebook has officially acquired Bangalore-based startup Little Eye Labs, the company’s website announced. Little Eye Labs makes a tool that can track and fix performance issues with Android apps. The acquisition should bolster Facebook’s Android applications, which received overhauls in 2013.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources told TechCrunch previously that the deal was worth between $10 million and $15 million.

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Facebook acquires SportStream

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Not long after entering a partnership with sports second-screen developer SportStream, Facebook decided to acquire the company. Both sides announced recently that SportStream will join Facebook. Terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition will help Facebook capture the real-time discussion around sports, something that Twitter still excels in.

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Lynx Equity acquires Facebook PMD Majestic Media

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Majestic Media, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer in apps, was recently acquired by Toronto-based private equity firm Lynx Equity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Facebook SPMD Brand Networks acquires PMD Optimal

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Brand Networks, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, announced recently that it has acquired Optimal — a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer — in an effort to expand Brand Networks’ social advertising capabilities. Brand Networks acquired Optimal for $35 million.

Optimal recently won acclaim from Facebook, earning the top prize in Facebook’s PMD Innovation Competition with its Open Signals product, which takes into consideration several factors when managing an ad campaign.

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Facebook acquires mobile data startup Onavo, branches into Israel

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Mark Zuckerberg’s goal to make the world more open and connected got a bit of a boost when Facebook on Sunday acquired Onavo, a mobile application data startup based in Tel Aviv, Israel and Palo Alto, Calif.

Terms of the deal were not discussed. Facebook will move into Onavo’s Tel Aviv office, becoming the social network’s Israel headquarters. It appears that the Onavo team will be integral in the major goal of Internet.org — providing Internet access to those around the world not connected.

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Facebook acquires startup Mobile Technologies, maker of mobile translation app Jibbigo

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Facebook’s mobile push is getting stronger, as the company acquired Mobile Technologies, the team behind mobile (iOS and Android) voice translation app Jibbigo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to AppData, Jibbigo is the No. 28 highest-grossing iOS travel app.

Facebook will take most of Mobile Technologies’ team and have them work in the Menlo Park, Calif. campus, according to Jibbigo.

Facebook Director of Product Management Tom Stocky confirmed the acquisition in a post:

It has always been our mission to make the world more open and connected. Although more than a billion people around the world already use Facebook every month, we are always looking for ways to help connect the rest of the world as well. Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution. We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company’s mission.

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With acquisition of Atlas complete, Facebook looks to improve ad measurement

atlasFacebook COO Sheryl Sandberg shared today on the company’s first quarter earnings call that its acquisition of Atlas from Microsoft closed last week and that she welcomed the team to Facebook today.

Atlas Advertiser Suite is a platform that advertisers and agencies use to plan, manage, track and optimize their digital marketing. Facebook agreed to buy the platform and Seattle-based team from Microsoft at the end of February.

Sandberg said Atlas is important for its measurement capabilities, not its potential to power an ad network, which many have speculated about. She said Facebook has “no plans” to create an ad network to serve Facebook ads on third-party sites. Atlas will continue to be a tool for advertisers to measure the effect of their online ads on Facebook and other platforms.
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Facebook acquires Parse to offer mobile backend services for developers

facebook-parseFacebook today announced an agreement to acquire Parse, a cloud-based platform providing tools for mobile app developers.

Parse offers backend services, data storage, social integration tools and other features to make it easier for developers to build apps across different platforms that scale more efficiently.

Facebook is buying Parse outright, meaning this is more than the typical talent deals Facebook makes. Parse will continue to operate and offer its services. Currently, it has a free model, a $199 model and an enterprise level. The company says there are 60,000 apps integrated with Parse’s platform.

Facebook Director of Developer Products Doug Purdy wrote in a developer blog post today:

“We want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices. Parse makes this possible by allowing developers to work with native objects that provide backend services for data storage, notifications, user management, and more. This removes the need to manage servers and a complex infrastructure, so you can simply focus on building great user experiences.”

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Facebook hires team behind cross-platform mobile game framework Spaceport

spaceport-logo-platformFacebook has hired the team behind Spaceport, a framework for developers to publish their games across platforms, a company spokesperson tells us. Spaceport also announced the news today on its website.

Spaceport, which is part of Sibblingz, allows developers to create cross-platform games using a single codebase and without Adobe Air, which is known to be slow and unreliable. Instead, Spaceport uses ActionScript. It launched in April 2011.

Sibblingz co-founder Ben Savage and the Spaceport team will join Facebook in the acqui-hire deal. According to LinkedIn, that’s about seven people, but Facebook did not confirm how many new employees it is getting through the talent acquisition. As the social network is not acquiring the company’s technology, the Spaceport platform will continue under co-founder Peter Relan and his team from YouWeb.
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