Facebook’s Got Talent
The team behind the second most popular website in the U.S. is referring to the purchase as a “small talent acquisition.” Said the Facebook team: “We’ve admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now and this is part of our ongoing effort to add experienced, accomplished technical talent.”
It’s worth mentioning that Facebook’s purchase of FriendFeed was also described as an addition of talent, but the conditions this time are different. While FriendFeed continues to operate separately from Facebook a whole seven months after being acquired, Octazen is already closing its doors. Once an importing solution for webmail contacts, the company’s site now states the following:
…effective immediately, Octazen will no longer accept new service contracts or renew existing service contracts, and will enter a transition period to wind down operations. During this transition period, Octazen will continue to honor existing service contracts and will remain your point-of-contact. We wanted to inform you as soon as possible to ensure you have adequate time to select another service provider without disruption to your business. We will do our best to work with you to ensure a smooth transition.
What is Facebook Up To?
These days it’s silly to take acquisitions lightly, especially when it comes to the shopping habits of giants like Facebook or Google (who, incidentally, just picked up social search engine Aardvark and a mobile text-search tool called reMail).
Interestingly, Octazen’s raison d’etre was similar to what Google Buzz got maimed for: Importing social network users' contacts from e-mail services into their social networks, except without all the messy privacy issues of course.
Users can already find new Facebook buddies via major services like AIM and Gmail, but with Octazen’s added capabilities Facebook may be able to determine user relationships on other social networks and e-mail services around the Web.
Could this acquisition be an answer to Google Buzz and the Google consolidation phenomenon? We’re willing to bet so, at least in part.