TMCnet Feature

May 07, 2012

Facebook’s Glancee Acquisition a Very Smart Move


Steve Anderson


Contributing TMCnet Writer

Facebook (NewsAlert), its IPO rapidly approaching and valued in the tens of billions of dollars–$60 to $75 billion by some estimates–has been on a bit of a tear recently, buying other web properties like Instagram. While some have wondered just what the overall strategy is behind such moves, the recent acquisition of Glancee is being much more kindly regarded as a smart move overall.

While no one outside of the deal is revealing how much Facebook paid for Glancee, nor whether or not Facebook will cannibalize the Glancee app and use it in their own systems or if it will remain a stand-alone app, one thing is clear: Facebook’s purchase of Glancee makes a lot of sense.

What Glancee does is that it works directly with Facebook to tell users when their friends are nearby, thus removing the necessity for people to check in before users can tell if they’re at the same store, restaurant, bar, or similar location as the person using Glancee. For Facebook to buy it basically gives Facebook another very useful mobile feature–something it’s been sorely lacking–as well as further incentive for those users currently using Facebook to continue to do so.

One of Facebook’s biggest problems, by the reckoning of some, is that it’s pretty easy to leave Facebook, or otherwise just stop using it. If a user decides they’ve had enough Facebook, just abandoning the system for another social media outlet–Twitter, Google (News Alert)+, whoever–isn’t so difficult. If another social network that didn’t exist yet were to exist in a year or two that was substantially better than Facebook, Facebook would be, essentially, doomed. Users would flood out of the service, Facebook’s appeal to advertisers would fall on deaf ears, and the company would wither and die like an apple tree in a two-year drought.

But when Facebook can add more services like Glancee, which makes it a whole lot easier to interconnect with friends by making it clear that they are, in fact, in the same general vicinity and thus clue a user in to look for them, or otherwise provide a way to find new places that otherwise might not have been found, gives Facebook a big edge in a marketplace already full of competitors that want their own shot at a big IPO.

Thus with Glancee in its toolbox, Facebook improves the likelihood that people will stay on and use Facebook, which is just what Facebook needs to stay viable in the marketplace. Whether Glancee will be enough to do the job, or Facebook’s acquisition binge will carry on unabated, remains to be seen. But the clear thing is they’re not taking the competition lightly, and that will also serve to help when their IPO get launched in earnest.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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Facebook’s Glancee Acquisition a Very Smart Move