Facebook buys startup to link with more mobile phones

Mar 21, 2011
Facebook is buying an Israeli startup that specializes in software that connects any type of mobile telephone to the leading online social network and other popular Internet destinations.

Facebook is buying an Israeli startup that specializes in software that connects any type of mobile telephone to the leading online social network and other popular Internet destinations.

Facebook on Monday confirmed that it is acquiring Snaptu with an eye toward extending its reach to the hundreds of millions of mobile phones that don't feature the computer-like Internet capabilities of smartphones.

"As part of our goal to offer people around the world the opportunity to connect and share on , we're excited to confirm that we recently signed an agreement to acquire Snaptu," Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

"As part of Facebook, Snaptu's team and technology will enable us to deliver an even better mobile experience on feature phones more quickly."

The deal was expected to close in a few weeks. Financial details were not disclosed.

Snaptu was founded in 2007 with the stated goal of making available on "feature phones" innovative services people access routinely on smartphones.

Nearly 1.6 billion mobile phones were sold worldwide last year, with 296.6 million of those being sophisticated smartphones, according to figures released last month by industry tracker Gartner.

In January, Facebook launched a new for feature phones that was co-developed with Snaptu.

"We'll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced app on virtually every ," Snaptu said.

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