It isn’t a $1 billion Instagram deal, but Facebook has acquired the team at mobile social book marking site Spool, according to Spool and reported by All Things D. Facebook doesn’t appear to be acquiring any of the Spool mobile product itself, and Spool will shut down its own service.
Facebook has a long history of making acquisitions for teams, rather than products, including the folks at Chai Labs, ShareGrove and Divvyshot. Two-year-old Spool had raised $1 million from Charles River Ventures, SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, and Angel investors like Vivi Nevo, Steve Chen, Elad Gil, Deep Nishar, and Kevin Donahue.
The Spool team will bring its “mobile software development expertise” to Facebook. Facebook’s biggest challenge is adapting Facebook to mobile devices, said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview with Bloomberg at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho last week. That’s why it was willing to spend $1 billion on the leading mobile photo sharing app Instagram.
But even if Facebook might have “won the war for mobile photo sharing,” as Om wrote last month, Facebook needs to dominate mobile across all aspects of sharing content and advertising. Already more than half of Facebook’s monthly active users accessed the site through mobile apps or its mobile website, both of which sport little if no ads, and one day mobile-only users will likely dominate.
Facebook’s own mobile app has been pretty sub-par, Kevin Tofel wrote earlier this year. The Spool app enabled its users to share, and manage, content on mobile devices within groups. One could hazard a guess that Facebook could use Spool team’s expertise to build a synchronous experience across web and mobile applications – that is resuming sessions on whatever device.