Facebook moved quickly – again – to address concerns that it wasn’t doing enough to satisfy mobile users, buying the developers of the Lightbox Android photo app.
Lightbox announced the deal in a blog post. However, the company also made it clear that Facebook was not acquiring the company or the photos that users had stored on the Lightbox website, just the developer team.
Lightbox also provided a download link so that users could export their photos, if they so chose. Users will only be able to use Lightbox.com until June 15. The company is not accepting new signups.
Lightbox is actually quite similar to Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion at the beginning of April. (Instagram was originally only an app for Apple iOS devices, but later released an Android version that nabbed 1 million downloads almost immediately.
Touting itself as “the connected camera,” Lightbox allows people to use their Android phone to take photos, apply filters, geolocate the photo, and identify the place where it was taken, as well as post to Twitter and Facebook, naturally. So far, however, Lightbox only runs in Android and HTML5 versions, meaning that the developers may be asked to beef up Facebook’s Android application, which was recently boosted with larger photos.
On its blog, the Lightbox developers said that they were excited to develop apps for Facebook’s 500 million mobile users, from which the company has admitted having a difficult time generating revenue.
“We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile, especially for the Android and HTML5 platforms, and we’re honored that millions of you have downloaded the Lightbox Photos app and shared your experiences with the Lightbox community,” Thai Tran and Nilesh Patel, the Lightbox founders, wrote.
“Today, we’re happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users,” they said.
Tran and Patel said that in the coming weeks the two would be open sourcing portions of the code to Github.
Users reacted negatively to the announcement. “I liked [that] I could keep my lightbox works separate… else i would be spamming my fb every day with photos and that not only would be a mess, my friends would no longer be able to follow me or even find me amidst all that clutter. I am not pleased with this move,” wrote someone who identified himself as Peter Lamm.
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Article source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404459,00.asp