Facebook-FriendFeed Deal A Talent Buy

Why did Facebook just buy FriendFeed? Not for its userbase, the techiest of techies, or for its product, but for its talent.

Based on a call we just left with reps from both companies — Facebook VP of engineering Mike Schroepfer and FriendFeed cofounder Paul Buchheit — Facebook wanted, plain and simple:

  • FriendFeed’s 11 engineers
  • Its ex-Google cofounders, who helped build products like GMail, Google Maps, etc. (Bret Taylor and Buchheit pictured)
  • And their ideas, primarily to be built into Facebook

The companies won’t talk numbers, but the WSJ puts the deal at $50 million--$15 million of cash and the rest in stock.

Meanwhile, some updates from TechCrunch:

  • The deal was “an 11th hour deal,” the companies have been talking for a while, but “things heated up in the last couple of weeks”
  • Friendfeed’s employees will be broken up within Facebook, reporting to different groups
  • FriendFeed will move to Facebook’s new HQ in Palo Alto from their Mountain View offices

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