Press Here
SUNDAYS @ 9 AM
NBC BAY AREA

Facebook Buys Beluga For Group Messaging

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Facebook bought Beluga, a group messaging application available on Android and the Apple iPhone, and will likely include the service in the social network's array of products, reports said today.

    Beluga left news of the acquisition at the top of its website which linked to the statement:

    Since launching Beluga, we've appreciated all the enthusiasm and positive feedback from our users. We're excited to continue to build our vision for mobile group messaging as part of the Facebook team. Beluga and Facebook are committed to create new and better ways to communicate and share group experiences.

    For now, Beluga will continue to function as it does today. Your Beluga account and data will not be lost. We'll be providing more details on future plans for Beluga in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

    Facebook also released a statement about the deal, which was reported on TechCrunch:

    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. We’re looking forward to welcoming co-founders Ben Davenport, Lucy Zhang and Jonathan Perlow, and we’re excited that the team will continue their vision for groups and mobile communication as part of Facebook.

    While TechCrunch reported that Facebook closed the deal to get some Google talent (all three founders are former Googlers,) I disagree. Eric Eldon's argument on Inside Facebook was much more compelling -- that Facebook desperately needs to stay on top of mobile technology and Beluga offers a way to do that.

    Beluga offers what few other services do -- a mobile application to message groups of people and create private chat rooms -- which has both private and enterprise uses. Add to the mix that Facebook has been trying to grow its users in developing countries, where many don't have computers but have mobile phones, and it all begins to make perfect sense. In order to survive, Facebook will have to increasingly become more mobile.