Facebook Scoops Up Lightbox Developer Team

By Julie D. Andrews 

How Facebook planned to monetize mobile was a big question mark that surfaced during the social network’s roadshow to promote its initial public offering Friday. Then, photo application Lightbox announced yesterday that its seven-strong mobile team had been snatched up by Facebook (although it is not technically an acquisition).

In line with a strategy we have coined, “poach talent, pluck startups,” Facebook has been making some stealth hiring moves on the charge-up to its IPO.

The addition of the sparkly new mobile talent may help to quell questions on the part of potential investors as to whether Facebook will be able to find new ways to capitalize on users who access the platform through smartphones. New tallies have shown that Facebook users are now more likely to access the social network through smartphones than through PCs.

Lightbox Co-Founders Thai Tran and Nilesh Patel announced in a blog post Tuesday:

We started Lightbox because we were excited about creating new services built primarily for mobile. (This was surely music to Facebook’s ears.)

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-plus mobile users.

Facebook is not acquiring the company or any of the user data hosted on Lightbox.com.

Lightbox was built around Android and HTML5 platforms, and current users will be able to access the service until June 15.

Readers: What new features or products do you see Facebook rolling out in the future with the help of these seven new developers from Lightbox?