A month after Facebook's US$1 billion dollar acquisition of popular photosharing app Instagram, Facebook has made another deal of a similar nature. The social networking giant has just hired the full team of seven employees from Lightbox, a developer of consumer mobile apps. The company is well-known for its Android-exclusive photosharing Lightbox Photos app which allowed users to create photo blogs from their uploads and sync photos with your social network. We are using the past tense here because the app has already been taken down from the Google Play Store; users have until June 15th to download their photo uploads.
Part of Lightbox's official statement reads as follows:
Lightbox Blog - We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile, especially for the Android and HTML5 platforms, and we’re honored that millions of you have downloaded the Lightbox Photos app and shared your experiences with the Lightbox community.
Today, we’re happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users.
This means we’re no longer accepting new signups. If you’re an existing user, you can continue to use Lightbox.com until June 15 and you can download your photos from here.
Facebook is not acquiring the company or any of the user data hosted on Lightbox.com. In the coming weeks, we will be open sourcing portions of the code we’ve written for Lightbox and posting them to our Github repository.
Facebook, meanwhile, has this to say: “The Lightbox team has incredible experience developing innovative mobile products that people love. We look forward to welcoming this world-class team of engineers to Facebook.”
Moving forward, we are not too sure how Facebook will utilize its recent talent acquisitions but this does appear to be part of its strategy to branch into mobile photography services, given that both Instagram and Lightbox were popular on their exclusive platforms (Instagram has recently been made available on Android). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sources: Mashable, Lightbox Blog, Tech Crunch