Facebook Inc has acquired Israeli start-up facial-recognition technology firm Face.com, as the world's largest social networking company beefs up its popular photo-tagging feature on its website.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but technology website TechCrunch said Facebook paid around $100 million, which is about one tenth of what the company had offered to pay photo-sharing site Instagram in April.
With offices in Tel Aviv and San Francisco, and backed by Yandex NV, Russia's most popular search engine, and investments firm Rhodium, Face.com helps users tag photos and find images online by distinguishing facial features on social networks and photo-sharing sites.
The company has developed two applications for Facebook, Photo Finder and Photo Tagger, which allows users to find untagged pictures of themselves as well as friends on Facebook and then tag those photos.
Face.com also offers an application programming interface, commonly known as API, so other app developers can use the company's technology.
Face.com said in a blog post that it will continue to allow developers use its technology, ''Now, lots of developers use Face.com technology to power various apps and make wonderful products. We love you guys, and the plan is to continue to support our developer community.''
The acquisition will not only give Facebook the facial recognition technology of Face.com, but also its user base.