Facebook acquires location-based talent

Katie Gatto · August 20, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1142

... by snapping up Hot Potato for a reported $10 million in cash

During the same week Facebook announced its widely-expected entry into location-based services, with Facebook Places, it was also made public that it's expanding its expertise and engineering talent in knowing what you're doing and where you're doing it. 

Hot Potato on Friday announced that the social networking powerhouse just bought the team, for an undisclosed amount. It's been reported by TechCrunch that the amount is some $10 million cash. 

The less-than-one-year-old startup (Hot Potato opened its doors in November 2009) is a social media sign-in service similar to the Places application.

But while the Facebook version of the sign-in service only allows end users to tag the location they are at and who they are with, Hot Potato's service has both of these features. 

It also offers one extra: the ability to add information about the kind of activities that you are pursuing at that location.

This ensures that when you make your way to the local mall other end users of the service can be told if you are going to shop for a new suit, meet up for dinner with some friends, or take in a flick. 

While no plans have yet been announced by Facebook, rumors circulate that they may, at some point in the future, integrate this feature into their existing service.

Current end users of the Hot Potato system have a limited amount of time to retrieve their data before the site shuts down for good on September 20th.

They will not be automatically enrolled in Facebook Places and their data will not be shard with Facebook according to Hot Potato's blog.

"We’ll soon be wrapping up operations at Hot Potato. We will no longer be accepting new user registrations, and we will be offering existing users a way to download their information from the site. To do this, go to: https://hotpotato.com/dashboard/history. In about a month, Hot Potato will close up shop and delete all user data. No user data or account information will be kept by Facebook."

(Both Facebook and Hot Potato were not immediately available to comment.)

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