Facebook plans redesign and 20 acquisitions this year

23 Aug 2011

Google’s invasion of social has prompted Facebook to outline plans for as many as 20 acquisitions this year, compared with just one last year.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook’s director of corporate development Vaughan Smith the company plans to improve the design of its site in a way that will entice people to spend more time on the site as well as cater for the massive growth in smartphone usage.

So far this year Facebook has made 13 acquisitions including that of messaging platform Beluga, deployed a video chat service with Skype and this month launched a new group messaging service.

However, its dominance of social has been put to the test with the launch of Google+ which attracted 29m users in just one month, according to ComScore.

Facebook, which has an estimated market value of US$72.5bn, has an available war chest of US$2bn to buy companies, compared with Google which has a cash pile of close to US$40bn.

Google+’s crisp, clean design has succeded in making Facebook’s copybook blue and white design look dated.

However acquisitions this year that include publishing software for touch devices Push Pop Press and Sofa, a user-interface company, could see Facebook up its game, including potentially a long awaited iPad app.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years