Weekend Weddings: Facebook buys Hot Potato, Nokia & Motally, Google & Like.com

EricMack 0 Tallied Votes 546 Views Share

The holiday shopping season has apparently come early to the tech world. First came the big and stupefying news that Intel was purchasing security leader McAfee for $7.68 billion earlier, and now the end of the week brings a new flurry of acquisitions from three more industry leaders.

Google Likes What it Sees in Like.com
It's been a long, tortured romance between the two search engines. The Mountain View Monster originally courted Like.com's visual search service for retail back in 2004 when the brand new company was known as Riya.

As Like.com itself explains, its technology...
lets us understand visually what terms like "red high-heeled pumps" and "floral patterned sleeveless dress" mean and created algorithms to understand whether those pumps complement or clash with that dress.

Google has been keeping mum on the acquisition, which has been rumored for weeks now if not years. Like.com finally confirmed the deal on its site late Friday with a note from CEO Munjal Shah on its site:
“We were the first to bring visual search to shopping, the first to build an automated cross-matching system for clothing, and more,” Shah wrote. “We didn’t stop there, and we don’t have plans to stop now. We see joining Google as a way to supercharge our vision and supercharge our passion.”Nokia Grabs Motally's Mobile Analytics Business
The Finnish mobile leader has officially acquired the U.S.-based wireless traffic tracker, in what's a little bit more of a no-brainer deal.

"The acquisition underpins Nokia's drive to deliver in-application and mobile web browsing analytics to Ovi's growing, global eco-system of developers and publishers, enabling partners to better connect with their customers and optimize and monetize their offering", said Marco Argenti, Vice President, Media, Nokia .

Motally currently employs a team of eight people, no word yet on dollar figures involved in the deal.

Facebook Swallows Hot Potato
At first glance, Hot Potato is exactly the same as Twitter; or at least the same as what Twitter started out to be. The only difference seemed to be that the spud took it one step further - asking users "what are you doing right now?" and then following up to try and connect users with similar interests who might even being doing the same thing at the same time.

Now, as Hot Potato announced on its site , it looks as though the service will be wound down and folded into Facebook's new location-based efforts.
This wasn’t an easy decision, especially since we’ve built up a base of dedicated users. If Hot Potato was going to sell to anyone, Facebook was the natural choice. Facebook is still small, moves fast, provides a great supportive environment for people to be entrepreneurial, and most importantly, Facebook builds great products. We’re looking forward to joining their team.

Word is that order of fries cost Facebook about $10 million.

Image from madprime on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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