Pieceable mobile team joins Facebook

Facebook continues to show a big appetite for the mobile market, according to analyst

Facebook is expanding its mobile know-how by hiring the team behind Pieceable Viewer, a mobile service that allows iOS app developers to demonstrate their apps in a Web browser, according to the Pieceable website.

Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology, or customer data, but the three people behind the Pieceable Viewer application, which is used to demonstrate native iOS applications within a web browser, will soon start working for Facebook.

They will be winding down the Pieceable Viewer service at the end of the year so they can focus on "the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook," they wrote on the Pieceable website. More details on how their competence will be used were not divulged.

The Pieceable Viewer service isn't going away completely. In a few months -- probably around late September or early October -- an open source version of will be released that users can run on their own Macintosh hardware.

For Facebook, this is just the latest move as it steps up its mobile push. Recently much of the news around the company has centered on how Facebook can make more money from its mobile users. It had 500 million of them at the end of April.

In May, Facebook acquired Karma Science, developer of an application that allows users to send gifts from their phones, and also hired the team behind Lightbox, an application for sharing photos.

It also spent US$1 billion acquiring photo sharing application Instagram, and there have been rumors about a Facebook phone and a possible acquisition of browser developer Opera Software.

"It is becoming clear that Facebook has a big appetite for the mobile market," said Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

It makes sense for Facebook to prepare for a new mobile era that is predominately going to be cloud-based, according to Saadi, who believes that Facebook's ultimate goal is developing a web-based operating system that can run on all kinds of devices, including low-cost smartphones and tablets for developing markets.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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