Facebook Hires Trio Behind Pieceable Viewer; To Shut Down Service Dec. 31

By David Cohen 

Facebook’s talent-acquisition binge continued with the social network’s hiring of the three-man team behind Pieceable Software, creator of the Pieceable Viewer tool, which allows users to test Apple iOS applications within a Web browser.

Pieceable Viewer will shut down Dec. 31, and Facebook is not acquiring the company, its technology, or its customer information.

Sister blog Inside Facebook reported that Pieceable Software launched last year with seed funding from I/O Ventures and its only three employees are joining Facebook: Co-Founders Bob Ippolito, Fred Potter, and Jameson Hsu.

According to Inside Facebook, Ippolito and Hsu had previously co-founded in-game advertising network and payments platform Mochi Media, which was acquired by Shanda Games in 2010. Potter had founded BerryStore, which let users browse, download, rate and review Blackberry apps, and which was acquired by Mogees in 2009.

Ippolito, Potter, and Hsu posted a farewell message of sorts on the Pieceable website:

We created Pieceable Viewer in early 2011 to provide an easy, low-friction way to demonstrate native iOS apps within a Web browser. Since our launch, we’ve served over 800,000 app demos. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to become part of the daily workflow for so many companies. To our customers: thank you!

We will be winding down the Pieceable service at the end of the year so that we can focus on the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook. Facebook is not acquiring the company, technology, or customer data. We know many of you have come to rely on the Pieceable service, and we want to make sure that you can continue to do so even after we shut down our hosted service Dec. 31. In a few months, we’ll be releasing an open-source version of Pieceable Viewer that you’ll be able to run on your own Mac hardware — we’ll have more details on that soon.

We can’t wait to begin working with the Facebook team to help our friends, family, and more than 900 million others connect and share in new ways.

The service will continue running as-is until Dec. 31. No customers will be billed past that date. Email support will continue until then, albeit with slower response times.

When will the open source version be ready? Probably around late September or early October. We’ll update pieceable.com when it’s ready and we’ll be posting it to github.com/pieceable. Any Mac running Mac OS X Lion, ideally co-located somewhere with a fast connection, will be able to run the open-source version. For those only using the service internally, you’ll be able to just run the Mac on your internal network.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, we’ll be releasing a tool to load previously uploaded app builds into the open-source version. After Dec. 31, we’ll be deleting all apps stored on our system.

Readers: What types of projects do you think the trio of new Facebook employees from Pieceable Software will be involved with?

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