Facebook has acquired the team behind app developer Spool in its latest acquisition of talents to improve mobile business operations.
The agreement between both companies will not include the acquisition of the company nor its assets, clarifies a Facebook representative.
“The Spool team has deep expertise in mobile software development and a passion for making content easy to consume. We’re excited for the team to join and accelerate their vision at Facebook,” said Facebook in an emailed statement to the WSJ.
Spool develops free apps for Android and iOS devices that allow users to save Internet articles and videos online or offline. However, it announced Saturday that those apps will no longer be available. Both companies declined to comment on the deal’s financial figures.
The transfer is part of Facebook’s recent chain of acquisitions to strengthen its mobile division’s expertise. During the process, the social network hires small teams of software engineers that focus on mobile app development. Facebook recently acquired Instagram for $1 billion and Karma, a mobile gift card provider.
“We started Spool to make content easy to consume on a mobile device. To accomplish this, we built some very sophisticated technology and developed a deep expertise in mobile software development,” said Avichal Garg, CEO of Spool, to announce and confirm the deal.
Facebook currently has two critical issues about satisfying its 500-million-strong mobile users: limited social networking experience and mobile app monetization. Android and iOS versions of Facebook only offer a stripped down mobile experience compared with the actual website, which doesn’t suit the needs of smartphone users. Moreover, Facebook still has to find a way to exploit the monetization of its mobile apps. The WSJ, however, recently mentioned that the company aims to start targeting mobile ads based on app usage.
Spool’s team of talented engineers, which consists of six people, is set to fix the first problem. Garg, a former product manager at Google, built Spool in 2010 with the notion that mobile device owners still find it irritating to use the Internet in their gadgets.
Mobile web browsers’ page loading times are sporadic, which means they get very slow at times, especially with longer use. In addition, mobile connectivity is uneven in some regions, pushing consumers to settle with preinstalled apps, rather than waste valuable time on Internet-enabled applications.
Spool allows a user to “spool” or transfer content from desktop web browsers to mobile devices for viewing it later. Users can also submit an article from their mobile device to Spool and the company will reformat this for easier rendering on a mobile web browser.
Spool also designed the apps to follow other users within the community and download recommendations from them. This feature of social discovery likely caught the attention of Facebook.