Friday, June 10, 2011

Facebook’s Newest Talent Acquisition Is All About Design

Facebook has acquired the team behind Sofa, an Amsterdam-based software firm known for its design prowess.
“We expected to keep working at Sofa forever,” the company said in a blog post announcing the talent acquisition, “but after Facebook first made contact, we were quickly convinced to join forces.”

You’re probably familiar with Sofa’s work if you’ve ever browsed the web with Firefox or used a TomTom. The company has designed icons for Mozilla, 280 North, Nike and more. It’s also the creator of several pieces of Mac software, including Kaleidoscope (a file comparison tool), Versions(a subversion client), Checkout (a tool for managing retail stores) and Enstore (a tool for managing web stores).
As is true with many of Facebook’s acquisitions, the company will not be acquiring Sofa’s products, primarily Kaleidoscope and Versions. This is all about getting a team that has proven adept at creating beautiful icons and simple software.
“We were just blown away by the Sofa team’s work, from their Mac and web software to the interfaces and brand identities they created for clients,” Facebook Director of Design Kate Aronowitz said in a statement.
The Sofa team will be relocating from Amsterdam to Facebook’s headquarters in Palo Alto in the next few weeks. The company promises to find good homes for its applications. While Kaleidoscope and Versions will have to find new owners, Checkout and Enstore created under joint partnerships and thus will have an easier transition.

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