Facebook Buys Location-Based Discovery App Glancee

May 4, 2012


A little under one month after its acquisition of Instagram, Facebook has acquired Highlight competitor and ambient location app Glancee.

The social network has already shut down the developer’s passive location app and all three co-founders, Glancee’s only full-time employees, will join Facebook, which now owns its technology. Eric Eldon described Glancee as, “A nice-guy ambient social location app for normal people,” so its ideas and founders should fit in well building for Facebook’s mainstream user base.

Facebook said in a statement “We are thrilled to confirm that Facebook has acquired Glancee. The acquisition closed today. We can’t wait for co-founders Andrea, Alberto and Gabriel to join the Facebook team to work on products that help people discover new places and share them with friends.”

From the Glancee homepage:

We started Glancee in 2010 with the goal of bringing together the best of your physical and digital worlds. We wanted to make it easy to discover the hidden connections around you, and to meet interesting people. Since then Glancee has connected thousands of people, empowering serendipity and pioneering social discovery.

We are therefore very excited to announce that Facebook has acquired Glancee and that we have joined the team in Menlo Park to build great products for over 900 million Facebook users. We’ve had such a blast connecting people through Glancee, and we truly thank our users for being a part of the Glancee community.

Like competitor app Highlight, Glancee went beyond the checkin and attempted to help users discover other users around them with similar interests.

The instant armchair analysis is that the company couldn’t buy Highlight so they got the next best thing in the ambient location space to compete early. According to AppData, Highlight is probably 3 times larger than Glancee. On AppData, Highlight has 9K daily active users tied to Facebook (which in this case means that about 9,000 users join Highlight per day since the app only touches the Facebook platform during the sign-up process). Glancee has 3K daily active users. Moral of the story: Don’t let an Instagram grow under your nose again.