Facebook Acquires Startup Friend.ly

Facebook acquired Friend.ly, a social question-and-answer service, in an apparent move to bolster Facebook Questions.

The 2-year-old startup received $5 million in funding early this year and was sold to Facebook for an undisclosed amount. However, the odd part is that Friend.ly doesn't differ very much from Facebook Questions, which relies on short answers to mostly superficial questions. PCMag highlights the vapid similarities:

"Are long distance relationships possible?" The answer ("Love knows no distance.") uses the real name of the respondent plus the options to label the response "Funny," "Smart," "Cool," "Me Too!" and "Hug". Facebook's Answers feature filters responses to feature the answers of friends first.

So why the Seventeen-style questions and answers? Wouldn't it behoove Facebook to become a little more like Quora, which ponders questions, both deep and banal? That leads us to believe that this was a talent acquisition and apparently ZDNet agrees. If you don't believe it, check out the response from Facebook: “We’ve admired the team’s efforts for some time now, and we’re looking forward to having Ed and his colleagues make a big impact on the way millions of people connect and engage with each other on Facebook.”

To us, saying "we've admired the team's efforts for some time now," means we want to hire them. It's likely that Facebook probably bought the startup for just a little more than $5 million, but we would be surprised if the price tag was $10 million or more.

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