There are no financial details of the transaction, but the deal is interesting: unlike Facebook’s other deals, it looks like the company may actually use Beluga’s technology, according to Business Insider’s Anthony Ha.
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Beluga allows users to create groups of friends with whom they want to share text messages, images, and emoticons, as Hu points out. The service launched in December, and there seems to be increasing interest in group chat products from companies like GroupMe and Ning.
All round Facebook is upbeat about its latest acquisition. “We’re psyched to confirm that we’ve just acquired the talent and assets of Beluga, whose simple and elegant mobile apps blew us away as a solution to help groups of friends stay in touch on the move,” Facebook said in a statement on Tuesday.
The California-based Facebook said the Beluga team “will continue their vision for groups and mobile communication as part of Facebook.”
“We’re excited to continue to build our vision for mobile group messaging as part of the Facebook team,” Beluga said in a statement.
“Beluga and Facebook are committed to create new and better ways to communicate and share group experiences.”
Beluga said the service will continue unchanged for now and it will provide details on future plans in the coming weeks.
A Facebook spokesperson told Business Insider, “we bought both the talent and assets, so I think that characterization of talent and technology is right.”
Beluga was launched last year by former Google employees Ben Davenport, Lucy Zhang and Jonathan Perlow.
Beluga’s free iPhone and Android mobile applications allow users to share updates and photos with family and friends.