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Facebook buys Firefox project founders startup

Facebook buys Firefox project founders startup

Social networking site Facebook said it has acquired Parakey, a start-up run by the founders of the Firefox Web browser project.

Parakey's co-founders Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, co-creators of the Firefox project, will join Facebook to work on the development of its technology, the company said last Thursday.

Ross and Hewitt founded Parakey in early 2006 to bridge the gap between information on the web and the desktop, Facebook said. Ross has described Parakey as an open-source "web operating system that can do everything an OS can do," such as manipulate the contents of a hard drive. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

"Blake and Joe built the Firefox web browser and then turned to the developer community to build on top of the foundation they'd established, not unlike what we've done with Facebook Platform," said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook in a statement. "The work they've done with Firefox and Parakey and their approach to building products fit right in at Facebook."

The acquisition is the first for Facebook, which saw 26.6 million unique visitors in the US in May, an 89 percent increase compared with the same month last year, according to Internet ranking company ComScore Inc. The growth followed Facebook's move in September to open the social network to the general public. Previously, it had been limited to users with a valid email address from a college or university.

In May, Facebook announced it would allow developers to build new applications on top of Facebook APIs.


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