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Facebook Beefs Up Shopping Search

Facebook is continuing to expand and improve its efforts in the personalized shopping business. The social network said on Friday (March 13) that it has acquired TheFind.com, a shopping search engine that uses personalization, recommendations and ad search.

Facebook launched its own personalized-ad business in February, and it may be planning to use TheFind’s search and personalization technology to match up users, ads and products, TechCrunch reported.

Whether that’s the case or not, TheFind will be winding down its own operations over the next few weeks and some, though not all, employees of the 2005 startup will be joining Facebook. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. TheFind raked in $26 million in venture funding from Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Cambrian Ventures, all in the first few years after it was launched.

TheFind announced the deal with a message on the home page of its website on Friday, confirming that “key members of our team” will integrate TheFind’s technology into Facebook’s ad platform, and that it would shut down as an independent operation, saying: “Unfortunately, this means we will be taking our search engine offline in the next few weeks.”

Facebook issued a statement that left it unclear whether TheFind’s brand would survive the acquisition or not: “We’re excited to welcome TheFind to Facebook. TheFind’s talented team has built a successful search engine that connects people to products. Together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers. Our business is about connecting people with the topics, companies, brands, and increasingly products they care about and we look forward to doing that with TheFind on board.”

Along with acquisitions, Facebook has also invested in its own technologies for sharpening its ability to target customers with ads, and has applied for a patent to specifically target brand influencers.

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