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Facebook acquires Face.com for undisclosed sum

Social network plans to continue to support the facial-recognition software company's developer community, though what it has planned for the service is unknown.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
One of Face.com's API examples.
One of Face.com's API examples. Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Facebook has acquired Face.com, confirming rumors that the companies were in talks.

Face.com announced the acquisition on its blog today, saying that its work with Facebook will offer it "more opportunities" to build products.

The Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup offers application programming interfaces (API) for third-party developers to incorporate Face.com's facial-recognition software into their applications. The company has released two Facebook applications: Photo Finder, which lets people find untagged pictures of themselves and their Facebook friends, and Photo Tagger, which lets people automatically bulk-tag photos on Facebook. Face.com launched its open API in 2010 to help third-party developers get into the mix.

"People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com's technology has helped to provide the best photo experience," a Facebook spokesperson told CNET today in an e-mailed statement. "This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a long-time technology vendor in house."

In today's blog post, Face.com specifically mentioned mobile as a "critical part of people's lives," but didn't say exactly what it might do at Facebook. That said, Face.com did note that Facebook will continue to support Face.com's developer community.

Last month, reports cropped up, suggesting Facebook and Face.com were in talks, though neither company confirmed that was the case. Israel-based publication Newsgeek said at the time that Facebook might pay between $80 million and $100 million for the facial-recognition company.

Facebook has been on a bit of a spending spree lately. After acquiring Instagram for $1 billion in April, the company picked up social-discovery service Glancee and social-gifting company Karma for undisclosed amounts.

"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," Face.com wrote in its blog post today. "The next steps are going to be exciting for all of us."

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

This story has been updated throughout the morning.