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Facebook Buys Face.com, Adds Facial-Recognition Software

Face.com's software enables facial recognition in photos. Source: Face.com
Face.com's software enables facial recognition in photos. Source: Face.com

June 18 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., owner of the world’s largest social-networking website, acquired Face.com, adding technology that enables facial recognition in photos.

Terms weren’t disclosed. Face.com helps users tag photos and find images online by distinguishing facial features on social networks and photo-sharing sites. Menlo Park, California-based Facebook already uses some of Face.com’s applications. The startup announced the purchase today in a blog posting.

“People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com’s technology has helped to provide the best photo experience,” said Ashley Zandy, a Facebook spokeswoman, in an e-mailed statement. “This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a longtime technology vendor in house.”

Facebook, which first sold shares to the public a month ago, has been making acquisitions to bring on talented developers, add features to the site and bolster the company’s mobile offerings. Since the beginning of April, Facebook has agreed to purchase photo-sharing site Instagram, location-based application Glancee and social-gifting company Karma.

Face.com, based in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, is backed by Yandex NV, Russia’s most-used search engine, and investing firm Rhodium.

Facebook rose 4.7 percent to $31.41 at the close in New York, marking a gain of 15 percent over the past three trading days. The stock is still 17 percent lower than its initial public offering price of $38 on May 18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Levy in San Francisco at alevy5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net

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