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Facebook Hires Team From Lightbox, An Android Photosharing App Developer

Lightbox Joins Facebook

Facebook has just closed a deal to hire about seven employees from Android photosharing app developer Lightbox. The Lightbox Photos app automatically created personal photo blogs from a user’s uploads. But now it will be shut down, has already been stripped from Google’s Play marketplace, and people have until June 15th to download their photos.

Lightbox is a 500 Startups company that had taken $1.2 million in funding from that accelerator as well as Index Ventures, Accel Partners, SV Angel, and several angels. Along with the Instagram acquisition, the Lightbox hires will help Facebook prepare for a very mobile-centric future, something investors want to be sure Facebook can win at before investing in its IPO on Friday.

In a statement regarding the talent acquisition, Facebook said “The Lightbox team has incredible experience developing innovative mobile products that people love. We look forward to welcoming this world-class team of engineers to Facebook.”

Lightbox develops consumer Android mobile apps. It’s first app Lightbox Photos cloud-hosts the photos from your Android device and syncs them to your Android. It was designed to replace your Android camera app. When we covered it in December, Sarah Perez called Lightbox a lazy man’s Tumblr.

Facebook has been frequently criticized for the slowness of its mobile apps. This talent acquisition of engineers could help it speed things up.

Similar to Instagram, Lightbox wasn’t just a photosharing app, but also a community where people browsed each other’s mini-masterpieces. However, Facebook won’t be adding that community to its 500+ million mobile users. Just Lightbox’s talent is joining the big blue social network, not the tech or users. Some loyal Lightbox are already expressing their dismay about the app shutting down.

Here’s the full statements from Lightbox’s blog:

We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile, especially for the Android and HTML5 platforms, and we’re honored that millions of you have downloaded the Lightbox Photos app and shared your experiences with the Lightbox community.

Today, we’re happy to announce that the Lightbox team is joining Facebook, where we’ll have the opportunity to build amazing products for Facebook’s 500+ million mobile users.

This means we’re no longer accepting new signups. If you’re an existing user, you can continue to use until June 15 and you can download your photos from here.

Facebook is not acquiring the company or any of the user data hosted on In the coming weeks, we will be open sourcing portions of the code we’ve written for Lightbox and posting them to our Github repository.

We’d like to thank the Lightbox community, our investors, and our families for supporting us during this journey.

Thai Tran & Nilesh Patel
Co-founders, Lightbox

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