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paidContent - Facebook Buys Sharing Service FriendFeed

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.

Facebook has purchased social sharing service FriendFeed. Financial terms of the deal were not released, although FriendFeed had raised just over $5 million in venture funding.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether—or how—the two services will be integrated together. FriendFeed lets users monitor the activities of contacts across an array of websites, including Facebook, from one central place. Presumably, therefore, the FriendFeed tie-in could lead to additional updates from third party sites being incorporated into Facebook users’ own news feeds. For now, FriendFeed will continue to operate separately as “the teams determine the longer term plans for the product,” according to a statement.

Facebook has hinted in the past that it was interested in making an acquisition. In raising $200 million from Russian investor Digital Sky Technologies in late May, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the new cash opened the possibility of strategic options. And Facebook also reportedly made a bid for Twitter last fall.

FriendFeed’s twelve employees, along with its four founders—who previously held key positions at Google (NSDQ: GOOG)—will join Facebook. Full release after the jump.

More to come.

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 FriendFeeds four founders will hold senior roles on Facebooks 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 cant wait to join the team and bring many of the innovations weve developed at FriendFeed to Facebooks 250 million users around the world.

As we spent time with Mark and his leadership team, we were impressed by the open, creative culture theyve built and their desire to have us contribute to it, said Paul Buchheit, another FriendFeed co-founders. Buchheit, the Google engineer behind Gmail and the originator of Googles Dont be evil motto, added, It was immediately obvious to us how passionate Facebooks 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, theyve brought together a world-class team of engineers and designers.

Since I first tried FriendFeed, Ive 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. 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.


By Joseph Tartakoff
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