Is Facebook Desperate to Acquire Growth?

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is rumored to be seeking an acquisition of face-recognition technology company Face.com, according to Israeli business publication Calcalist. Meanwhile, tech news blog Newsgeek says the size of the deal could be between $80 million and $100 million, a relatively small acquisition for the newly-public social networking company, which raised $16 billion in its IPO.

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So far, the acquisition is pure speculation, but Face.com has long been rumored to be an acquisition target for Facebook. According to blog The Next Web, the two companies have held numerous talks over the last few years, but Face.com has so far rebuffed offers because of the “low” price Facebook was willing to pay.

Founded in 2007, Face.com offers accurate facial recognition software that could be used by Facebook to help users more quickly identify people in photos. The Israeli startup built a popular Facebook application called Photo Tagger, which lets people do just that, and recently launched a mobile facial recognition app for Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS called Klik. Face.com also operates a platform of its own by offering a public API.

Facebook certainly understands the value of its site as a photo-sharing platform — one need only look to its recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram for evidence of that. Of course, in this instance, rose by any other name wouldn’t smell quite so sweet — the domain name Face.com certainly must be some of the appeal for Facebook, which would rather no company or site ever use the words “face” or “book.” Remember Facebook versus Faceporn?

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