RealTime IT News

Facebook Makes Its First Acquisition

Fast-growing Facebook announced today that its acquired Parakey, a startup run by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, two of the co-founders of the Mozilla Firefox Web browser project.

A short release today noted the acquisition. While Facebook officials were not available for further comment, a company spokesman e-mailed a response to internetnews.com.

"Parakey is a web platform technology in development by Ross and Hewitt. They will bring their expertise in this area to work on Facebook Platform and other development projects," the spokesman wrote. "Clearly, they are pioneers in the industry and we’re excited to have them come on board."

According to its Web site, Parakey's products are still in development. The company's barebones site includes a small picture of a parakeet above the heading, Give your computer the bird.

In a May 2007 job posting for the company, Parakey describes its offering as a means of building applications that merge the best of the desktop and the Web.

"Like desktop apps, these apps work offline, offer more privacy than pure websites, run quickly and integrate with the system," the posting states. "But like Web apps, they are also more creative, visually alluring, accessible from anywhere and potentially accessible by anyone. In short, Parakey apps are designed to be both useful and social, a combination that is too rare today…."

"We enjoy programming, but ultimately we started this company to make computers better for average users."

Ross echoed those sentiments in the Facebook release.

"Facebook Platform is finally making it easy to share experiences with friends and family over the web, a goal Joe and I have worked toward for years," he said. "We are thrilled to join the most innovative technology company in the industry."

Financial terms were not disclosed. It's the first acquisition by Facebook, based in Palo Alto, Calif., not far from Parakey's base one town over in Mountain View.