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Facebook has acquired friend.ly, the firm behind a social question and answer app on the social network.
“We’re excited to announce that we recently acquired friend.ly, a Silicon Valley startup that created a really compelling way for people to express themselves and meet others through answering questions,” a Facebook spokesman said.
“The friend.ly team will be focusing on new projects at Facebook, but friend.ly will continue to operate as a separate service,” the Mountain View, California-based startup said in a blog post.
According to the blog, the friend.ly team will focus on new projects at Facebook, but “will continue to operate as a separate service”.
“The spirit of friend.ly aligns well with Facebook’s vision, and we’re thrilled to be joining such an innovative company,” the blog added.
Facebook news site All Facebook claims that friend.ly’s user base has tapered recently.
According to the news site’s own AppData, friend.ly has 10 077 daily active users, down from a high of nearly 6.5-million users and 291 590 active monthly users, down from an all-time high of over 6.9-million.
While this is in line with a general waning in the popularity of question and answer style apps on the social network, firend.ly has been hit harder than most.
By contrast, direct competitor 21 Questions has 665 399 daily active users, down from a high of nearly 5.5-millionand 28.7-million active monthly users, down from a high of over 32.9-million users.
Facebook also relaunched its native Questions app in March. Its focus though, is primarily on making one-off polls rather than questions which allow people to get to know each other.
All Facebook suggests that for Facebook to acquire a service provided by a number of third part developers and one that isn’t the leader in the category, might mean that Facebook wants “to use friend.ly’s capabilities not just to enhance the native Questions application but to encourage users to populate their profiles, especially with the impending beta launch of timeline”.
While such a statement is speculative it might account for the “other projects” the friend.ly staff say they will be working on.
Friend.ly claims that its question and answer service “helps you share your true self by asking fun, easy and sometimes poignant questions with the goal of creating a more perfect online profile”.
Neither firm could reveal the terms of the takeover, or when the transaction was expected to be completed.