Facebook is flush with IPO cash, and it's going shopping. Rumors started flying yesterday that the social network was near a deal to buy Face.com, the facial recognition software company behind the Klik mobile app. Sources tell TechCrunch that the deal is "definitely" happening, with a final price of $100 million. There's also buzz that it's after a bigger fish: Opera. Shares of the Norwegian company, which makes a popular mobile web browser, surged today on that speculation, RTTNews reports.
The Face.com move is being widely applauded by pundits.
- TechCrunch calls it a "natural acquisition target" because "photos are core to Facebook's lock-in strategy."
- Tom Cheredar of Venture Beat agrees, noting that the "vast majority" of Facebook's photos have "lots of faces" and that it would get "a pretty wonderful domain name" to boot.
- The Opera rumor hasn't gone over as well. "Buying Opera will likely be another stupid acquisition" like Instagram, a Global Equities Research note told investors today, according to PC Mag. "Opera will narrow Facebook's ecosystem and not broaden it, which Facebook desperately needs right now."