Facebook's five most interesting acquisitions

From facial recognition to farming websites, Facebook loves a bit of retail therapy...

by Gabriella Griffith

Facebook’s large financial claw descended into Silicon Roundabout last week like a fairground teddy picker, looking for a new start-up to bring into its fold. It picked out code-checking whiz kids Monoidics.

The four-year-old London-based startup was bought for an undisclosed sum and its staff will be joining Facebook’s London office shortly. It’s thought the skills of Monoidics will be used to help Facebook weed out the bugs in its own apps. Good times: au revoir bug-town.

It's big news for the UK tech scene and even bigger news for Monoidics, but the latest acquisition probably won’t be so exciting at Facebook HQ. It does this kind of thing all of the time. Since its inception, the social network has absorbed 37 companies.

With that in mind we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the most interesting ones.

1.     Instagram

Probably the most famous of Facebook’s technology shopping trips, it purchased Instagram for $1bn back in April 2009. The purchase was put down to Facebook’s desire to increase its control over people’s photo sharing, as well as the precious data that comes with it. The mobile app also brought an element of hipster-cool to Zuckerberg’s network, which some would argue it had started to lose.

The $1bn valuation caused plenty of consternation and cries of another tech bubble about to burst. As it happened, the sale didn’t cause a Silicon Valley apocalypse, just a $1bn sized hole in Facebook’s pocket.

2. Lightbox.com

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