Facebook acquires Snaptu for feature phone strategy

21 Mar 2011

Facebook has acquired Israeli mobile start-up Snaptu for an estimated US$60m-70m. The two companies previously worked together to make a Facebook feature phone app.

The company launched a Facebook mobile application for feature phone owners earlier this year, which is now operating on 2,500 devices.

The app was made with Facebook, working with mobile operators like StarHub in Singapore, Dialog in Sri Lanka and Vodafone in Romania to give feature phone owners access to the site.

According to Snaptu’s blog, its goal is to provide useful services for consumers without smartphones and as such, this acquisition will help it work with Facebook to make a bigger impact on this market.

“We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development. And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world,” Snaptu said.

TechCrunch reports the acquisition was in the range of US$60m-US$70m.

The news comes as Facebook aims to further boost its 600-million strong user base.

By accessing devices in the midpoint between basic mobile phones and souped-up smartphones, it will allow the social networking firm to attract more mobile users to the service.

The deal with Snaptu will close in the coming weeks.