Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced Monday the acquisition of speech recognition tools developer Mobile Technologies. The machine translation and speech recognition start-up will help Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) connect users that face language barriers. Theo Merz of The Telegraph reports that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) could use Mobile Technologies’ expertise to voice search in multiple languages and translate News Feed posts.
Acquisition to help Facebook improve offering
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s product management director Tom Stocky said in a statement that voice technology has become an important way to navigate the web. Acquisition of the Pittsburgh-based company will help Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) improve its product offering, says Brian Womack of Bloomberg. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) didn’t disclose terms of the deal.
As of June 30, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has 1.15 billion users worldwide. The social networking giant plans to bring the rest of the world under its social networking service. The Menlo Park-based company is trying hard to boost user engagement because that’s the key to advertising revenues. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has been adding more features that allow people to share information and communicate more easily.
Facebook to ditch Bing’s translation service?
Mobile Technologies was founded in 2001. It launched Jibbigo, a voice recognition and speech-to-speech translator app in 2009. Using Jibbigo, users can type a text or make a voice recording in any of 25 languages it supports. And then the app can read the translated version aloud or display on screen. Jibbigo is already available on Android and iOS operating systems. The app is also used for the interpretation of live lectures.
Mobile Technologies engineers will transfer to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) headquarters in Menlo Park, California. So far, the social networking company has been relying on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Bing to translate News Feed posts and comments. With this acquisition, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is likely to ditch Bing’s service.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares were down 2.10% to $37.42 at 12:29 PM EDT. The stock is up 44.04% year-to-date.