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US: Facebook buys image-matching technology

 |  February 11, 2019

Facebook has acquired GrokStyle, the maker of image-matching technology, to beef up its work in the field.

Bloomberg reported that Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan confirmed the acquisition, saying the social media giant is excited to bring in GrokStyle. “Their team and technology will contribute to our AI capabilities,” the spokeswoman said in the Bloomberg report. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. On its website, GrokStyle reportedly informed customers that it was “winding down” its business and that the team and its technology were moving on together. It didn’t say Facebook was the place they would be landing.

Facebook has been investing in technology that enables people to match products they see in the physical world to products online. Bloomberg speculated that the deal could help it bolster its efforts since GrokStyle has image-matching technology that would work for Facebook Marketplace. Facebook Marketplace is the social network giant’s service for buying and selling items on the platform. The deal with GrokStyle comes on the heels of Facebook acquisition of Chainspace, the blockchain technology company. The terms of that deal were also not disclosed.

While Facebook has been reeling from a bevy of data privacy scandals, it is still holding its own when it comes to growing its user base. In the fourth quarter Facebook was able to grow the daily active user base by 9% percent compared to a year ago’s fourth quarter, reaching 1.52 billion average daily users. Monthly users were also up the same percentage, reaching 2.32 billion. About 2.7 billion users are on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger each month, and there are more than 2 billion people that use one of Facebook’s services every day on average. For the fourth quarter, Facebook posted average revenue per user of US$7.37, which is 19% higher on a year-over-year basis and a 21% increase sequentially. Mobile drove its business during the quarter, with mobile ads as the biggest revenue generator, accounting for 93% of its advertising revenue during the last three months of the year. In the fourth quarter of last year mobile accounted for 89% of its ad revenue.

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