Facebook to buy firm specializing in voice translation

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In this May 18, 2012 file photo provided by Facebook, Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, center, rings the Nasdaq opening bell from Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. AP File Photo

NEW YORK CITY – Facebook has agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a firm specializing in voice translation software, the two companies said Monday, without providing financial details of the transaction.

Founded in 2001, Mobile Technologies is best known for developing the Jibbigo mobile application for speech-to-speech language translation.

“I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology,” Facebook’s Product Management Director Tom Stocky wrote in an online posting.

“Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution.”

In a separate statement, the smaller firm said it was “excited to announce that Facebook has agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies and that once the deal has closed many of us will be joining the company at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California.”

Despite having over one billion monthly users, Facebook has struggled to climb out of the wreckage of its disastrous stock market debut more than a year ago.

The social network has appeared to be on an upward trajectory, however, following an earnings report last month that showed a big jump in mobile advertising revenue and sent shares soaring more than 40 percent.

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