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Social networking giant snaps up mobile social discovery app
Congratulations to the Glancee team. Late Friday, the Glancee team let users of the mobile social discovery service know via email that it's now part of Facebook.
Glancee, one of the semi-finalists at Vator Splash Sept. 2011, is a mobile app that works on iOS and Android and helps you discover people nearby with similar interests.
The price tag was not disclosed. Given that the service had relatively few users and is shutting down, it's safe to say that Facebook liked the team enough to give them jobs. It's still a great exit for the team - Andrea, Vaccari, Alberto Tretti, Gabriel Grise, Alessandro Testo, Islam Ismailov and Matteo Daste - however, given that Facebook is going public in a couple weeks. (This is, of course, if the stock appreciates and holds its value before they can cash some money out.)
Clearly, Facebook is interested in bringing in more mobile talent. Just last month, Facebook spent $1 billion to acquire Instagram, the fast-growing mobile social photo app with only 13 employees.
How Glancee works
Glancee works on top of Facebook, so in order to use Glancee, you have to sign on using Facebook Connect.
By signing into Facebook Connect, Glancee takes your "likes" and compares them to other people's "likes" to find matches and similarities. People with similar interests are then shown to one another, depending on location. So, if you're in a coffee shop, you might get an alert from Glancee that someone with similar interests is nearby. You can then check them out on your phone and see what you have in common.
For example, if I like the Engadget, Glancee may show me someone who likes that site or another similar technology blog. Or in an example it gives, "Glancee will recommend you people who like skiing if you like snowboarding, and fans of Quentin Tarantino if you like Pulp Fiction."
I checked out the site last year when Andrea Vaccari, the very assertive co-founder and CEO of the start-up, gave me a demo. After I downloaded the app, I was immediately impressed with the user interface and ease of use that I introduced the app to many.
But the social discovery space is a crowded one with a number of start-ups emerging. Just recently, Kismet raised a seed round from TriplePoint and NEA. Another similar service is Sonar. And, despite the strong team at Glancee, they clearly preferred to join a more secure company than fight it out alone. But who wouldn't? I'm sure a number of companies would love the opportunity to be bought by Facebook.
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Remember the feeling of talking to someone new, realizing that you have a dear friend in common and that you both love that artist only you know about? Glancee helps you discover these hidden connections and meet with people important to you. Explore the profiles of people nearby and be notified when somebody has common friends or mutual interests. Text or call, meet up for a coffee, and stay in touch. Create new, meaningful connections with new people just like you.