Facebook has acquired Snaptu, an Israeli mobile application developer that is responsible for one of the most popular free social-networking applications. Snaptu works on nearly any Internet-enable mobile phone, allowing users to access a variety of social networking services, from Facebook to Picasa, Orkut, Flickr and Twitter, as well as news, guides, and blogs, all as individual apps. The Facebook acquisition is estimated to have cost between $60 and $70 million.
Snaptu’s secret to universality is the fact that handles all the processing of its apps on the server side. Since its early days, Snaptu had been working closely with all the popular networking brands, but in recent times, has also developed single-branded low-end apps for many of them, including Facebook – which was released back in January this year. Note, there's also a Facebook Zero, separate from Snaptu's Facebok app. The app has already enjoyed much success, and is said to be compatible with over 2,500 different devices. Other companies for which Snaptu developed low-end applications include LinkedIn, CricInfo, Twitter, and more.
What of course remains to be seen is if Facebook will allow Snaptu to continue developing and selling these other applications, or will it put all of Snaptu’s resources to work on Facebook products.
A press-release from Snaptu disclosed the following:
"The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks. We'll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we'll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today."