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Facebook Snaps Up Shopping Search Engine to Improve Ad Relevancy
Image Credit  Marco Pakoeningrat Creative Commons license

Facebook Snaps Up Shopping Search Engine to Improve Ad Relevancy

Facebook has announced the purchase of e-commerce app TheFind in a bid to improve the relevancy of its ad offerings. 

An amount for the deal has not been shared, but details regarding the immediate future of the acquired firm have been made perfectly clear.

Representatives from TheFind say its product search engine will be shut down “in the next few weeks” and several employees will be re-positioned at Facebook offices.

The social network has declared excitement at being able to close a deal, adding that its new purchase’s ability to connect people to products will help enhance the site’s current ad offerings. 

Facebook announced advertising revenue of $2.9 billion in Q3 2014, with earnings from mobile products accounting for 66% of the total.

A new beginning

Before the acquisition, TheFind’s e-commerce shopping assistant allowed users to find ‘every item from every store’, with a sign-in function capturing their shopping history. 

Shoppers could use a check button to save products and even consult with TheFind to track the progress of packages, the whereabouts of receipts and various other elements of their e-commerce history.

But such attributes may be resigned to the history books, as a note from TheFind announced the engine’s intention to go offline.

“For the last nine years, we've worked hard to bring you a shopping experience that's easy, efficient and fun - searching all the stores on the web to find just the right products you're looking to buy.

“We are now starting our next chapter by combining forces with Facebook to do even more for consumers. Facebook's resources and platform give us the opportunity to scale our expertise in product sourcing to the over 1 billion people that use the platform.”

The note added that “unfortunately” the next chapter could only go ahead with the engine shut down.

A future in shopping

As for Facebook, a spokesperson from the network was delighted to announce that a deal had been struck and declare the site’s plans for its new addition.

“TheFind’s talented team has built a successful search engine that connects people to products. Together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers. 

“Our business is about connecting people with the topics, companies, brands, and increasingly products they care about and we look forward to doing that with TheFind on board.”

Three separate investment rounds had enabled TheFind to progress on the back of $26 million in pledges. But with the last publicised installment coming in 2007, there were signs of the business looking for a suitor. 

Facebook has carried out a series of e-commerce initiatives in recent years, one of the most notable being the introduction of “product ads” last month for businesses wanting to highlight the presence of certain items.


Richard Towey

Richard Towey

Richard serves as head of content at PerformanceIN. After many years spent covering developments from the automotive, sports, travel and finance sectors, he eventually turned his full attention to reporting on stories from the fast-evolving world of digital marketing. Richard now heads up the editorial team at PerformanceIN: the performance marketing industry's leading publication.  

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