Facebook Acquires QuickFire For Smaller Videos

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Social networking giant’s acquisition spree continues with purchase of video compression specialist

Facebook has acquired QuickFire Networks, a video compression specialist, for an undisclosed amount.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been using acquisitions to plug technology gaps in an effort to enhance its social networking platform. Indeed, Facebook earlier this week acquired of natural language software player Wit.ai, and the latest deal signals its intention to enhance its video content capabilities.

Video Compression

The deal was announced on the QuickFire website by CEO Craig Y. Lee. “We’re excited to announce today that we are joining Facebook,” he wrote.

Lee explained how QuickFire thinks that the current network infrastructure around the world is not up to the task of supporting “the massive consumption of video that’s happening online without compromising on video quality.”

San Diego-based QuickFire uses proprietary technology to dramatically reduce the bandwidth needed to view video online without degrading video quality. Its technology speeds up the encoding of videos with different profiles for frame rate, resolution, colour and audio settings for different platforms.

Facebook Video Calling“Now we’re ready to take the next step in our growth,” wrote Lee. “Facebook has more than one billion video views on average every day and we’re thrilled to help deliver high quality video experiences to all the people who consume video on Facebook.”

It seems that some key members of the QuickFire team will join Facebook, but the company itself will wind down its corporate operations as it merges into Facebook.

Heavy Spend

Last year, Facebook warned investors that it would be spending heavily in 2015 as it seeks to broaden its infrastructure capabilities. Indeed, the company has spent heavily in the past to acquire companies such as WhatsApp and Oculus for example.

But Facebook is also keen to expand its video capabilities. Last year for example, it changed its service so that videos in user newsfeeds automatically begin playing. That move proved controversial, as mobile users complained about the bandwidth implications of such a move.

The company however aims to get its users to upload their videos directly to Facebook, instead of linking to rivals such as Google’s Youtube etc. The thinking is that if Facebook hosts the videos themselves, it will keep users on their service and it allows gives it more control over how the videos can be viewed and tied into its advertising and marketing functions.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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