Facebook Buys Snaptu
Over the weekend, Facebook announced that it will be buying Israeli startup Snaptu. The platform provides a smartphone-like experience to simple mobile devices, as long as then can connect to the Web. Snaptu gives users the ability to access websites and services within a usable interface. It mimics smartphone looks and abilities, with features such as contact syncing, an easy to navigate home screen, and the ability to quickly scroll through pictures and friend updates. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are availabe to almost any phone though Java-based applications Snaptu designed.
The Snaptu platform works on over 2,500 different types of mobile devices, from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and others. They currently have 30 million users, and were founded in 2007 as Mobilca. Facebook has worked with Snaptu before during the development and release of the Facebook for Feature Phones app in January, however the investment of their acquisition shows us that Facebook wants to move beyond Web and smartphones, amd wants to be accessible to anyone around the world with even a most basic smartphone.
While Android and iOS-based phone users might not care, this is a big move for Facebook’s social dominance. The acquisition will close in a few weeks for an estimated $70 million dollars.