As Facebook is putting more resources behind its video content, the company announced today that it is ‘acquihiring’ a small Utah startup that specializes in adding social features to video.
Vidpresso, headquartered in Ogden, Utah, is selling its technology to Facebook, and Facebook is taking on its seven-person team. TechCrunch first reported the news. The deals of the term were not disclosed.
In a note posted to Vidpresso’s website, the company’s leadership doesn’t give too many details about how it will be working with Facebook, other than that it believes that partnering with Facebook will help put Vidpresso’s tools in the hands of more creators, not just established businesses. Vidpresso, founded in 2012, helps publishers enable more conversations within livestreams by allowing them to incorporate interactive chyrons and graphics that encourage viewers to respond to polls or ask questions. Its customers include Univision, BuzzFeed, Turner Sports, Nasdaq, TED, and NBC.
“Way back in 2012 we founded Vidpresso with a simple vision: To make video more like HTML — easier to author, easier to change, and customized per person,” the note states. “[Joining Facebook] gives us the best opportunity to accelerate our vision and offer a simple way for creators, publishers, and broadcasters to use social media in live video at a high quality level.” Vidpresso notes that existing customers will still be able to use the product following the transition to Facebook, though it’s unclear whether the product will still work with live video on other platforms, like YouTube and Periscope.
While an acquisition by a company like Facebook is more good news for Utah’s growing startup community, the impact of the investment on Utah will likely be minimal given that Vidpresso wasn’t a big employer in the state to begin with.
Vidpresso’s tech should integrate fairly smoothly with some of the video offerings that Facebook is trying to push, such as Watch, its home for both user-generated and original content, Facebook’s 2018 priorities; IGTV, its new hub for long-form video on Instagram; and its AR games for Messenger group video chat, launched just last week. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during Facebook’s most recent conference call that its goal with video overall and Watch specifically is to build “new experiences that help people connect and start conversations.” But its biggest battle will not be getting users to respond to polls or questions within live videos, but rather in getting the casual Facebook user to navigate to this content in the first place.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to provide comment on the news, instead pointing to Vidpresso’s announcement on its website.