Facebook is getting into the personal fitness market, having purchased walking and running tracking app Move for an unknown fee.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social network purchased two-year-old Helsinki-based ProtoGeo Oy, the company that makes the Move app. Although the price was not disclosed, a Facebook spokesperson said it hadn’t paid anywhere near as much for the 10-employee company as others like billion-dollar Instagram.
Earlier this year, Facebook purchased message app WhatsApp for $19 billion (£11.3bn), followed by virtual reality company Oculus VR for $2.3bn just a few weeks later.
Moves, which is free and has been downloaded to iOS and Android devices more than four million times, will continue to operate as a separate company for now, while CEO Sampo Karjalainen began working at Facebook’s California headquarters last week.
The Moves team said in a blog post: “We're delighted to announce that Facebook has acquired our company and the Moves app. Since we launched Moves, we’ve been focused on running a simple and clean activity diary that millions of people have enjoyed using.
“Now, we’re joining Facebook’s talented team to work on building and improving their products and services with a shared mission of supporting simple, efficient tools for more than a billion people.”
The fitness market has grown in recent years, as the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up, Fitbit and other wearable gadgets help users track their walking, running and sleep patterns, synced to their mobile phones.
Samsung recently made a big move in the market, adding a heart rate monitor and the S Health fitness tracking application to the Galaxy S5 smartphone and Gear 2 and Gear Fit smartwatches.
In March, Google announced Android Wear, a special version of the mobile operating system designed for use with smartwatches and fitness trackers, and Apple is widely expected to be entering the market with a product dubbed iWatch later this year.