Facebook has acquired the development team behind Pieceable, a one-year old startup that creates a handy development tool that allows software apps to be used through an Internet browser, rather than having to download and use them in a separate device. It makes it easier to share the app with colleagues, clients, family, and friends.
The Pieceable team has served up over 800,000 app demos. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“We will be winding down the Pieceable service at the end of the year so we can focus on the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook,” Pieceable’s co-founders Fred Potter, Bob Ippolito, and Jameson Hsu wrote on the company’s blog.
Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology nor customer demographics. The company is shutting down its hosted service by the end of the year, and all apps stored on the system will be deleted, however. It will release an open source version of the Pieceable Viewer in a few months, as well as provide a tool to upload previous apps onto the open source system.
The talent swoop was likely made to boost Facebook’s mobile presence. Just ahead of its flawed IPO, the company’s revenue growth had slowed for the first time due to difficulties in monetizing from a mobile platform. Boosting 900 million users, Facebook will need to increasingly rely on its mobile audience as more people access the site through mobile apps, which presents advertising challenges due to the size of the screen.
Potter had designed mobile apps for Loopt, the early location sharing service recently bought by Green Dot. Ippolito and Hsu were the co-founders of Mochi Media, acquired by the Chinese gaming giant Shanda in 2010, and should help Facebook on its mobile gaming front.
In May, Facebook acquired Karma Science, the developer of an app that enables users to send gifts through a mobile device. In April, Facebook acquired Instagram for over $1 billion to create better photo sharing technologies for the mobile phone.