Facebook has acquired Israeli startup Onavo. TechCrunch first reported the news, which was confirmed by a company blog post. The acquisition price wasn’t announced but speculation puts it between $150 and $200 million.
There are essentially two aspects to Onavo: consumer-facing apps that help users manage data and save money and an app-analytics business. The company’s consumer-facing apps have been around since 2011. They compress data to make plans go further; they also provide visibility on data usage to mobile subscribers:
By compressing your data, Onavo Extend can increase the power of data plan by up to 500% — giving you the ability to do up to five times more with your current data plan without any additional fees or hassles. In addition to extending your data plan, Onavo Extend also provides you with a breakdown of your data usage. With this information, you can see how much data is being consumed by each app and make better informed data usage choices.
The analytics tools, which are based on Onavo real-time consumer data usage, reveal several things:
- Competitive performance of apps (ranking, benchmarking)
- Audience app engagement metrics and behaviors
- Advertising metrics for apps
Below is Onavo’s ranking of the top apps. On the list below YouTube, Google Maps, Pandora and the game Candy Crush all outrank Google’s search app.
It’s fairly easy to imagine how Facebook might use Onavo. One way is to improve the Facebook app experience in markets where people are operating on lower bandwidth networks or where data plans are more expensive. The obvious other use case is to provide Facebook marketers using with more insights about how users are interacting with its app and ads.
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