No financial details of the contract have been released as yet, although both companies have released statements commenting on the transaction. Tom Stocky, Product Management Director for Facebook wrote today online that he was “excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology…Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution.”
Mobile Technologies, which is a significantly smaller company than Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, a social media network with over one billion users, released their own, shorter statement, in which they declared that they were “excited” about the deal, and that “once the deal has closed many of us will be joining the company at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California.”
Mobile Technologies is a Pittsburgh, US-based company, and the creators of Jibbigo, a mobile phone application launched in 2009 which allows the user to access automatic audio or written translations of their text or voice recordings in over 25 languages.
Facebook currently uses Bing, a Microsoft program, for the translation of the site’s comments and newsfeed posts. With the acquisition of Mobile Technologies, Facebook will have access to an in-house translation service, with which it hopes to significantly improve the audio and text translation features of the social networking site, making interlingual communication a more integral feature of the site.
Sources include Japan Today, The Telegraph
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