Mike Isaac

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With Acquisition of Parse, Facebook Backs More Tools for Developers

Facebook has acquired Parse, a company that helps developers create apps across different platforms by providing a toolset and back-end support, the company announced on Thursday.

It’s a full acquisition, which means the tech and talent will now be under Facebook’s domain. The company was quick to assure, however, that Parse’s services will continue to be up and running, offering its plans to developers and making good on existing contracts.

The benefit here for Facebook is pretty simple: Fold into the Facebook flock one of the most respected developer services outfits in the industry, and keep pushing developer tools that make it simple to build apps that run across multiple platforms. If developers don’t have to handle all the server-side junk that comes with maintaining apps and building for multiple devices — Android, iOS, etc. — then perhaps they’ll spend more time making their apps better.

“We want developers focused on building the experience, concentrating on how their users feel while inside the app,” Doug Purdy, director of developer products at Facebook, said in an interview. “If we can offload a lot of the backend stuff from mobile developers, it’s going to be so much easier to make that experience happen.”

That includes working on a better integrated version of their apps woven into the Facebook platform, which I’m sure Facebook will heartily push to Parse’s customers going forward. It helps Parse out, too, as the team gets the benefit of Facebook’s experience with scale and infrastructure — obviously something the company knows how to do well.

“In a short amount of time, we’ve built up a core technology and a great community of developers,” Ilya Sukhar, founder and CEO of Parse, wrote in a blog post. “Bringing that to Facebook allows us to work with their incredible talent and resources to build the ideal platform for developers.”

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

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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