Web: Facebook Makes Its Move

Facebook is about to send IPO speculation into overdrive again with its latest business move. This time they are not turning away suitors. Instead, they’ve made their first acquisition – the company announced ten minutes ago that they’ve acquired Parakey, a startup run by Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, co-founders of Mozilla Firefox, an open-source and non-profit web browser.

From the company’s press release:

“Blake and Joe built the Firefox web browser and then turned to the developer community to build on top of the foundation they’d established, not unlike what we’ve done with Facebook Platform,” said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. “The work they’ve done with Firefox and Parakey and their approach to building products fit right in at Facebook.”

Ross and Hewitt are best known as the co-founders of Firefox, which has been downloaded more than 300 million times by people worldwide. Hewitt went on to build popular web development tools such as Firebug. In early 2006, Ross and Hewitt founded Parakey to build a platform bridging the gap between information on the web and the desktop.

No, we don’t know how much they shelled out for Parakey. But Facebook has been on a remarkable roll with the expansion of Facebook Platform – they’ve grown to a stunning 31 million registered users. The only question I want answered: How many employees does Facebook have now?