Facebook has acquired TheFind, a shopping search engine that rounds up search results from various e-commerce websites and presents them in a neat and orderly manner to would-be buyers.
The eight-year-old startup, which bills itself as "the only way to search the entire shoppable web" announced on its homepage that it is joining Facebook and will be closing up shop "in the next few weeks."
"We are now starting our next chapter by combining forces with Facebook to do even more for consumers," said TheFind on its website. "Facebook's resources and platform give us the opportunity to scale our expertise in product sourcing to over 1 billion people that use the platform."
TheFind lets users search for something, say a white and gold dress, on its search engine, and it will look up results from shopping websites such as Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Nordstrom, Target, and more.
Facebook, however, will not be using TheFind's existing service. Instead, the social network with ambitions of becoming the world's biggest social conglomerate wants to use the technology that powers TheFind's search engine to create better advertisements, according to a Facebook spokesperson.
"Together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers," said Facebook in an emailed statement to Mercury News. "Our business is about connecting people with the topics, companies, brands, and increasingly products they care about and we look forward to doing that with TheFind on board."
TheFind says "key members" of its team, possibly including CEO and co-founder Siva Kumar, will be absorbed by Menlo Park "to integrate our technology to make the ads you see on Facebook every day better and more relevant to you."
Facebook had always attempted to make failed forays into search and e-commerce. For instance, the social network is currently testing a "Buy Now" button in some of the ads and Page posts that will let users directly buy the product or service being promoted right on the platform without having to leave Facebook. Last year, Facebook completely pulled out a highly publicized feature called Facebook Gifts, which let users send gift cards to friends, after Facebook got rid of the ability to send teddy bears, cupcakes, flowers, cookies, and other physical gifts to friends.
Facebook also had Graph Search, its very own search engine, in 2013, but even CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the Facebook search engine is lacking in many respects. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek last year, Zuckerberg said people are being "generous" when they say Facebook search works about half the time.
Neither Facebook nor TheFind disclosed the financial terms of the agreement. Facebook's stocks closed at a 1.1 percent loss on Friday at $78.05 and did not show significant changes in after-hours trading.
Photo: Michael McCauslin | Flickr