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Facebook Acquires Israeli Facial Recognition Company

Published: June 18, 2012
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Source: NY Times

Facebook, the largest repository of pictures anywhere and at any time in history, has acquired an Israeli company, called face.com, that makes facial recognition technology. Neither company disclosed the sale price nor the other terms of the deal.

It is not entirely unexpected. Facebook has used the Israeli company for two years to identify and “tag” who is who on the social network. Face.com’s last product was an application that allows users to click a picture of their Facebook “friends” and tag it automatically before posting it on Facebook; for now, it works only on the iPhone.

That alone is alluring for Facebook: Its users upload 300 million pictures a day at last count, but identifying pictures of Facebook friends on mobile devices, which is the next frontier for Facebook, is not as easy as it is on computers.

Facebook’s short term future, particularly on Wall Street, depends in large part on how it takes advantage of cellphones and tablets – and how it spins money from one of its singular assets: pictures of babies, weddings, vacations and parties.

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