Mike Isaac

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Facebook Snaps Up Talent From Social Startup Storylane

storylaneFacebook’s M&A team is on the move again. This time, the social giant has made a talent acquisition, snapping up five employees, including the founder, from the social startup Storylane.

“The team from Storylane will be an incredible addition to Facebook,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD in a statement. “Their previous work showcasing real identity through sincere and meaningful content will make them a perfect fit at Facebook.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Facebook won’t be buying the technology or product behind Storylane; it’s a straight-up talent grab.

Storylane was spearheaded by Jonathan Gheller, a regular in Silicon Valley circles, who launched Storylane late last year with the aim of highlighting personal content that’s more in-depth than other social mediums (or so Gheller said upon launch last year).

I hear that Gheller will be joining Sam Lessin’s team at Facebook, the man who spearheaded Facebook’s massive Timeline project. That could prove interesting, especially since I’ve also heard that Facebook is working on some significant changes to Timeline, as well. (Though, as always, Facebook is constantly tweaking the dials on all of its products to see what works best on a user-engagement level. Take a look at News Feed, for example!)

Also curious: One of Storylane’s key features was following the stories that were seeing the most trending activity within the service itself. Sort of interesting, given Facebook’s “best socialized newspaper” metaphor that Zuckerberg continuously referred to at Facebook’s new News Feed event on Thursday. It also sounds a lot like what Twitter has done for ages, and is trying to get better at. Perhaps joining Lessin’s team will integrate some of the trending “stories” into Timeline in a more cohesive way. (Or not. We’ll see what Gheller and his crew end up doing.)

“Facebook’s mission of connecting the world has always been at the center of our work, and like our friends at Facebook, meaningful connections are what our team is most passionate about,” Gheller said in a post on Storylane on Friday.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik