Facebook has made a move or two recently that you may have heard about, and while this one isn’t quite to the scale of the last, it is nonetheless an interesting acquisition for the social giant. Today, Lightbox announced they will becoming part of the Facebook team.
Co-founders Thai Tran and Nilesh Patel started Lightbox to focus on building Android and HTML5 platform applications. Their first, and only product, has made a large enough splash for Facebook to take notice.
Facebook relies heavily on the photo sharing aspect of their service. In fact, Facebook is the largest photo sharing service on the web by far. Their recent acquisition of Instagram shows they are taking the mobile photo sharing space very seriously and you could argue that this deal with Lightbox speaks to the same idea.
Lightbox also puts an emphasis on HTML5 which Facebook has been quite vocal about supporting as the future of the web. With that we can see that the two items currently core to Facebook’s obvious direction are covered by the folks at Lightbox. It’s a perfect match.
This is one of those “acqui-hire” type scenarios. Lightbox isn’t actually being purchased by Facebook. The data and the Lightbox Photos application aren’t a part of the Facebook deal and Lightbox has said that they plan to release parts of the application code via their Github repository in the coming weeks.
The downside in situations like this unfortunately ends up falling on the users. Lightbox Photos has a lot of active users and they will certainly be sad to see the service discontinued. In fact, Lightbox has stopped accepting new sign-ups already and has set an end date of June 15th. Users can use Lightbox.com and download their photos until then so if you are a user, be sure to go grab your photos as soon as you can.
We send our congratulations to the Lightbox team and we look forward to the cool things they’ll be churning out at Facebook. Not to mention the social network’s new profound interest in HTML5 an apps.