Facebook has acquired social networking service FriendFeed, the company announced.
Jessica Vascellaro at the WSJ puts the terms at $50 million:
The company paid roughly $15 million in cash, with the rest in Facebook stock that vests over several years and would be worth roughly $32.5 million based on the $6.5 billion common valuation an investor recently placed on the company.
This is clearly a move to step up Facebook’s game in its war with Twitter to lead the “real-time” Web.
FriendFeed never caught on with mainstream audiences. But its team put together a nice looking product with smart features — which sites like Facebook routinely aped.
Now Facebook can call on FriendFeed cofounders — ex-Google bigshots Bret Taylor, Paul Buchheit, etc. — as part of its own team. All of FriendFeed’s employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold “senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.”
FriendFeed’s service will continue to operate on its own for the time being. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Facebook took the best FriendFeed features it doesn’t have already, stuffs them into Facebook, and shuts down the old FriendFeed.
Here’s the release:
Facebook Agrees to Acquire Sharing Service FriendFeed
PALO ALTO, CALIF.—August 10, 2009—Facebook today announced that it has agreed to acquire FriendFeed, the innovative service for sharing online. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees will join Facebook and FriendFeed’s four founders will hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.
“Facebook and FriendFeed share a common vision of giving people tools to share and connect with their friends,” said Bret Taylor, a FriendFeed co-founder and, previously, the group product manager who launched Google Maps. “We can’t wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations we’ve developed at FriendFeed to Facebook’s 250 million users around the world.”
“As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture they’ve built and their desire to have us contribute to it,” said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founder. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Google’s “Don’t be evil” motto, added, “It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebook’s engineers are about creating simple, ground-breaking ways for people to share, and we are extremely excited to join such a like-minded group.”
Taylor and Buchheit founded FriendFeed along with Jim Norris and Sanjeev Singh in October 2007 after all four played key roles at Google for products like Gmail and Google Maps. At FriendFeed, they’ve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers.
“Since I first tried FriendFeed, I’ve admired their team for creating such a simple and elegant service for people to share information,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. “As this shows, our culture continues to make Facebook a place where the best engineers come to build things quickly that lots of people will use.”
FriendFeed is based in Mountain View, Calif. and has 12 employees. FriendFeed.com will continue to operate normally for the time being as the teams determine the longer term plans for the product.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not released.
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