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Facebook to buy Israeli startup Face.com [Rumour]

Another day another post-IPO Facebook rumour. This time sources have the social networking giant looking to buy facial recognition software Face.com.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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According to Israeli news site Newsgeek, Facebook is willing to shell out between US$80-million and US$100-million for the startup.

The rumour comes fresh off the back speculation that the social network was also looking to buy Opera Software.

The acquisition certainly makes sense, and could have immediate benefits for Facebook. As the Next Web notes, Face.com builds facial recognition software that could help users identify and tag photos of people faster on both desktop and mobile.

In fact Face.com has an existing Facebook app, called Photo Tagger, which lets people scan photos for known faces. Were the acquisition to go through, Facebook could simply absorb the software into its own photos section.

It would also further strengthen Facebook’s bid for dominance in the photos space, following its acquisition of Instagram and the launch of its own Camera app for iOS.

Face.com CEO Gil Hirsch meanwhile has told Israeli news sites that there’s “no news to announce”.

The Tel-Aviv-based Face.com has been around since 2007. In addition to its Facebook app it has a free REST API, allowing third-party developers to integrate the Face.com facial recognition technology, algorithms, and database of tagged faces with their own apps and services