Facebook buys facial recognition firm for $60m
19.06.2012 | 14:27Facebook is buying Face.com for $60 million, acquiring the company that provides the facial-recognition technology used by the social network to help users tag friends in photos.
According to sources close to the deal, the social network has offered cash and shares for Face.com, potentially paying as much as $60m, still some way short of $80m to $100m predictions.
Neither Facebook nor Face.com disclosed terms of the deal, which is expected to close in coming weeks.
Facebook, which will acquire the technology and the employees of the 11-person Israeli company, said in a statement that the deal alloweed the company to bring a "long-time technology vendor in house."
Face.com makes standalone applications that consumers can use to help them identify photos of themselves and of their friends on Facebook, as well as providing the technology that Facebook has integrated into its service.
Facebook uses the technology to scan a user's newly uploaded photos, compares faces in the snapshots with previous pictures, then tries to match faces and suggest name tags. When a match is found, Facebook alerts the person uploading the photos and invites them to "tag," or identify, the person in the photo.
Responding to inquiries from US and European privacy advocates, Facebook last year made it easier for users to opt out of its controversial facial-recognition technology for photographs posted on the website, an effort to address concerns that it had violated consumers' privacy.
The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Facebook in recent months, including the $1 billion acquisition of mobile photo-sharing service Instagram. US antitrust regulators are undertaking an extended review of the Instagram deal, which Facebook expects to close by the end of the year.
Source PC Pro
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