Reports in the Israeli media suggest
that Facebook is lining up yet another acquisition, that of Tel Aviv-based based Face.com.
Face.com describes itself as "the world's largest and most accurate face recognition platform". It offers apps that scan photographs on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular sites, and offers to tag them with detected faces. Face.com also offers an API that lets developers use Face.com's face detection technology in their own applications.
While Facebook has had auto-tagging of its own for a while, it could well be lining up a move for Face.com to take the technology to the next level. Another theory suggested
is Facebook might be interested in just the domain name, with face.com being a convenient short for facebook.com.
Israel-based blog Newsgeek
reports Facebook is willing to shell out between US $80 million and $100 million for Face.com. Before you think that is too much money to spend on just a domain name, remember Amazon bought Junglee.com for a reported US $230 million way back in 1998.
Face.com's Facebook app Photo Tagger
doesn't seem to be very popular, with just 3000 Monthly Active Users (MAU) reported by AppData
. The lack of popularity of its apps might add weight to the theory that any potential acquisition by Facebook would just be for the domain name, but do not discount Face.com's underlying technology.
Even if its own apps haven't set the world alight, Face.com's technology is highly regarded by the developers. Its API is used in a wide-variety of third-party mobile apps, and had been used to discover over 18 billion faces as of February 2011. Earlier this month, Face.com launched a mobile app of its own called KLIK
, that uses face recognition technology to help people tag photos with their Facebook friends in real-time. The app is highly rated, with an average of 4.5 stars, indicating high customer satisfaction.
Face.com said there's "nothing new to share" when contacted by The Next Web
to comment on the latest rumours.