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Summary:

Facebook last week acquired a small Malaysian startup called Octazen Solutions, maker of a contact importer that the social network had already been using to grow its number of users by encouraging them to invite their email contacts. Octazen’s two employees have joined Facebook as engineers.

Octazen's contact importer helped Facebook make its userbase viral.

Facebook last week acquired a small Malaysian startup called Octazen Solutions, maker of a contact importer that the social network had already been using to grow its number of users by encouraging them to invite their email contacts. Spokesperson Larry Yu described the buy as a “talent acquisition,” saying Octazen’s two employees have joined Facebook as engineers. As he put it in a company statement on the acquisition he sent via email:

“We’ve admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now and this is part of our ongoing effort to add experienced, accomplished technical talent to help drive the company forward in its efforts to be the central way for people to connect and share information.”

Octazen’s software helps sites like Facebook grow by making it easy for users to invite their contacts on other services. When Octazen receives an email address and password it fetches a list of contacts and puts them in an array for customers to use and store (and hopefully not abuse!). Octazen has taken down most of its site in light of the acquisition, but archived versions show it charged for software licenses between $39 and $200 per domain server plus a yearly update fee.

Octazen said in a message posted on its site that it is no longer accepting new customers and that it will “enter a transition period to wind down operations.”

Facebook, which now has more than 400 million users including 250 million added in the last year alone, has kept fairly quiet on the acquisition front, focusing primarily on talent buys rather than products (though it did discuss purchasing its rival Twitter). Previously it bought Parakey and FriendFeed, whose former execs now work on Facebook-originated products rather than their own.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Monetizing the Social Web Isn’t One Size Fits All

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  1. [...] Octazen, a small startup most known for its contact importer software, GigaOm’s Liz Gannes reports. Facebook’s Larry Yu characterized the move as a “talent acquisition,” saying the [...]

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  2. Slowly, Facebook is following the Google path of acquiring firms and killing/pausing product development.

    Have they figured out ‘their adwords’ yet?

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  3. [...] Octazen, a small startup most known for its contact importer software, GigaOm’s Liz Gannes reports. Facebook’s Larry Yu characterized the move as a “talent acquisition,” saying the [...]

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  4. [...] has acquired a Malaysian startup, Octazen Solutions, which specializes in contact importing, GigaOm [...]

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  5. [...] startup Octazen Solutions. Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition, according to GigaOm. Octazen has a slightly different story on their home page, saying Facebook acquired “most of [...]

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  6. [...] startup Octazen Solutions. Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition, according to GigaOm. Octazen has a slightly different story on their home page, saying Facebook acquired “most of [...]

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  7. [...] It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign up, reports Gigaom.Why would FacebookFacebook acquire the makers of an address book importer? It appears to be a [...]

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  8. great news for Malaysians i suppose

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  9. [...] Social Networks, Spokesperson, Talent Acquisition, Transition Period Facebook has acquired Malaysian startup Octazen Solutions, which specializes in contact importing, GigaOm [...]

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  10. [...] It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign up, reports Gigaom.Why would Facebook acquire the makers of an address book importer? It appears to be a talent buy, [...]

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  11. Wow … this strategy is new of it’s form, buy talent and not the product only.

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  12. [...] contact importer helped Facebook make its userbase viral. Go to Blog Post – © POPNEWS | POPULAR NEWS FROM ALL AROUND THE WORLD. var cookie = [...]

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  13. [...] into consideration all of the above reasons, which led them to acquire Octazen. While the company stated internally that the buy was a “talent acquisition”, little else is known about this purchase. The [...]

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  14. [...] week, Facebook acquires Octazen Solutions. This “talent acquisition” as described on GigaOM, means that Octazen engineers are going to shutdown their business operations to join Facebook as [...]

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  15. [...] yang mana selalunya digunakan pada laman sosial untuk menjemput rakan-rakan melalui emel.Ianya dikatakan, Facebook membeli Octazen adalah bertujuan untuk memiliki kebolehan dua orang pembangunnya, yang [...]

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  16. I think Facebook is following Google’s foot steps in acquiring companies.. But Google is far ahead in the race . .

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    1. Even if google is ahead in the race, facebook is still catching up and passing google with traffic. Its all about the traffic which google commanded for the past many years. Once Facebook takes over that, things will begin to get interesting. I bet Facebook and google will eventually team up.. they have to

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  17. [...] startup Octazen Solutions. Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition, according to GigaOm. Octazen has a slightly different story on their home page, saying Facebook acquired “most of [...]

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  18. Google, Facebook, Amazon will not make the same mistakes of Yahoo and Microsoft. I hate that yahoo does not want to sell itself to Microsoft. They made a bad mistake when they rejected MS offer.

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    1. mistakes by microsoft? if having the largest market cap of all those companies you listed is a mistake then they should be so lucky to make the same mistakes, Google has learned from Microsoft’s “mistakes” already and the chart in the link will show the results.

      http://ctovision.com/disruptive-it/tech-titan-list/

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  19. [...] startup Octazen Solutions. Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition, according to GigaOm. Octazen has a slightly different story on their home page, saying Facebook acquired “most of [...]

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  20. [...] La compra sorprende bastante, dada la dudosa reputación que Octazen tiene en la industria. Gigaom y otros creen que se trata de una adquisición de talento, pero otros creen que hay algo más [...]

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  21. It would be interesting to see a review and comparison of contact importer services. Anyone? :)

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    1. Hi Chrisco , The second best one is improsys and there is a new provider called cloudsponge who is also interesting but unproven.

      BTB, there is a free opensource s/w called openinviter but they have a lot of bugs and bad with updates

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  22. [...] el iPhone y que el CEO de la empresa pasaría a ser el product manager de Gmail. Ahora Facebook hizo exactamente lo mismo con la compañía de Malasia llamada Octazen, que provee scripts para permitirle a nuevos usuarios registrados importar contactos de otros [...]

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  23. A totally random Facebook acquisition, but I like it

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  24. [...] Octazen is a Malaysian company comprising two employees. It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign up, reports Gigaom. [...]

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  25. [...] Octazen is a Malaysian company comprising two employees. It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign up, reports Gigaom. [...]

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  26. [...] Octazen Feb 22 information, technology Filed under: Business, Social Software, web 2.0 Facebook just acquired something called Octazen Solutions, a company that most people (myself included) had never heard of [...]

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  27. [...] Octazen is a Malaysian company comprising two employees. It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign-up, reports Gigaom. [...]

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  28. [...] startup Octazen Solutions. Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition, according to GigaOm. Octazen has a slightly different story on their home page, saying Facebook acquired “most of the [...]

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  29. [...] users’ social graphs from one service and porting them to another.Spokesperson for Facebook  says: “We’ve admired the engineering team’s efforts for some time now and this is part of our [...]

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  30. [...] employees. It provides scripts to import a user’s contacts into a website upon sign up, reports Gigaom. This is part of our ongoing effort to add experienced, accomplished technical talent to help drive [...]

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  31. [...] has acquired its third company, Octazen Solutions - a Malaysian startup. According to GigaOm, Facebook says this is largely a talent acquisition. The Octazen homepage has a slightly [...]

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  32. [...] FriendFeed, Facebook’s other acquisitions include Divvyshot, Octazen and Parakey, all of which were primarily based on engineering talent and domain [...]

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  33. Wow, acquiring a small business in Malaysia? I guess this really is international business. Well, I guess we’ll be seeing a Facebook search engine some time soon…

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  34. [...] • Insert a dynamic date hereAn article was just posted.  Two engineers joined Facebook: http://gigaom.com/2010/02/19/fac…Doug Sherrets • Insert a dynamic date hereOn a scale of 1 to evil, this is pretty evil.  They [...]

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