Facebook is acquiring Snaptu for anywhere from $40 million to $70 million, depending on which report you go by.
Snaptu made headlines in January for helping Facebook expand and upgrade its presence on all types of cellphones, and especially featurephones.
Acquiring the company signals a stronger commitment to mobile platforms, and possibly a desire by Facebook to keep other social networks from expanding and upgrade their respective presences on non-smartphone devices.
The mobile startup posted the following on its own blog:
The Snaptu team is excited to announce today that we recently agreed to be acquired by Facebook.
Our goal when we founded Snaptu in 2007 was to provide useful and innovative services to the 95 percent of mobile users that don’t have access to advanced smart phones.
Earlier this year, we announced the launch of a new Facebook mobile application to give people a great mobile experience on a broad range of feature phones. The Facebook for Feature Phones app currently works on more than 2,500 devices.
We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development. And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.
The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks. We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.
We’d like to thank everyone involved in the development of Snaptu, especially our millions of loyal users. We can’t wait to get started at Facebook.