This article was published on June 18, 2012

Facebook confirms acquisition of facial recognition platform

Facebook confirms acquisition of facial recognition platform
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

The rumors have been flying around for a while now, but it seems it has finally happened. According to AllThingsD, the acquisition is a done deal.

A Facebook spokesperson told them:

“People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends.’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.”

Full terms of the buyout haven’t been disclosed, though we’ve previously heard the $100m figure bandied about, and it’s expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

We first reported on this deal back on May 28, and while it always seemed like the deal was likely, the confirmation has since come in via itself too:

“Facebook has acquired! Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people’s lives, and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products. If you’re anything like us, Facebook is a part of your life every single day.  We keep up with our friends and family, share interesting (or mundane) experiences from our daily lives, and perhaps most importantly for us, we share a LOT of photos.

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.  :)

Now, lots of developers use technology to power various apps and make wonderful products.  We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community. If there are new developments you can expect to hear from us here, on the developer blog, and through our developer newsletter.

Thank you to all of our supporters, our amazing dev community, to our employees and to our friends and family who have seen us through many long days and longer nights. The next steps are going to be exciting for all of us.”

We profiled last October, interviewing CEO and co-founder Gil Hirsch at Wired’s inaugural UK conference. Just to recap what actually does, in 2009 the first apps started to surface: Photo Finder and PhotoTagger.

Photo Finder lets you scan all your friends’ uploaded Facebook photos to find untagged images of yourself and your friends. Photo Tagger is a simple app for grouping and identifying the faces in an album of photos, which then suggests tags. Users can confirm (or correct) the suggestions, and tag entire albums in a fraction of the time it takes using manual tagging methods. So if you have a plethora of wedding or party snaps that you want to tag the users in, this has the potential to save you a lot of man-hours.

All in all, this acquisition hardly comes as a surprise – not just because the news was more or less accepted as fact before today’s official announcement. But’s technology is clearly a perfect match for Facebook. Couple with its Instagram acquisition back in April, it’s clear that photos will play a huge part in Zuck & Co.’s strategy moving forward.

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