Facebook Buys Sharegrove for Group Collaboration, Answer to Google Wave

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-05-28

Facebook has confirmed that it acquired startup Sharegrove, which makes private Web workspaces where groups can chat and share Web pages, photos and video clips within Facebook.

Sharegrove's collaboration capabilities are integrated in one application where all participants see the same content at the same time. The content-sharing dynamic of Sharegrove recalls the Google Wave collaboration platform, albeit without the live co-editing.

Facebook users access Sharegrove through Facebook Connect. Once users add Sharegrove to their Facebook applications, they can click their Facebook friends' images to share content.

Judging by a demo video previously posted on YouTube, now taken down, the software appears to be quite an improvement on Facebook's existing Chat application, which users access by clicking a tab in the lower right corner of their Facebook pages. However, this tool does not offer group chat; Sharegrove engineers could fill that hole.

A Facebook spokesperson told eWEEK Sharegrove is a "small talent acquisition," adding, "We've admired the engineering team's efforts for some time now and this is part of our ongoing effort to add experienced, accomplished technical talent to help drive the company forward in its efforts to be the central way for people to connect and share information."

Sharegrove announced the deal on its Website May 26:

"We're happy to announce that we've reached an agreement for Facebook to acquire our assets, and that we're joining the Facebook engineering team! We've always thought that Facebook had a great product, and through this acquisition process, we've found out that there's a great team behind it. Now we're excited to bring some of that Sharegroviness that you know and love to Facebook."

Fast Company has a brief interview with Sharegrove co-founder Adam Wolff here. 

Sharegrove has disabled user registration and is closing shop by June 1, presumably so that its founders can rewrite the work they did on Sharegrove for Facebook.

Sharegrove recommends that those who have data stored on its site and wish to retrieve it e-mail the company at info@sharegrove.com. Those who do not do so by June 1 will have all of their personal information and posts deleted.

Facebook is proving hungrier for "small talent acquisitions" these days. The company acquired FriendFeed in 2009, and the company's engineers were instrumental in Facebook's rollout of social plug-ins and instant personalization.

Facebook in April acquired group photo album specialist Divvyshot with the thought of applying the startup's online photo sharing approach to its Facebook Photos service.

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