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Facebook buys mobile development tool house Parse

Facebook has purchased Parse, a service that provides a cloud-based set of mobile services and development tools. This news comes on the heels of last week's Mobile Developer Conference where Facebook introduced tools making it easier to implement Open Graph on mobile along with the release of Facebook SDK 3.5. With the addition of Parse's toolset developers will be able to store and build server-based apps for Facebook in the cloud without the need for expensive infrastructure.

The best news regarding the deal is Facebook's plan to keep Parse's current tiered pricing. The basic level of Parse is free, with up to 1 million requests or pushes per month. Pro and Enterprise options are available for users seeking more requests and pushes, greater security, support, and collaboration features. This creates a new revenue stream for Facebook without losing the existing "freemium" user base.

As Facebook seeks to become a force in the mobile market, it has two major stumbling blocks; it doesn't own an mobile OS or have its own device. Parse's developer tools will help make Facebook integration easier, both inside the apps and via ad buys. Couple that integration with the monthly fees from subscribers and this purchase is an interesting way for Facebook to establish themselves in the mobile marketplace.

Here's Parse's statement on the sale.

Parse has come a long way. In just under two years, we've gone from a rough prototype to powering tens of thousands of apps for a very broad spectrum of customers.

Some of the world's best brands trust us with their entire mobile presence, and a growing number of the world's brightest independent developers trust us with their next big thing. We couldn't be happier.

As stewards of a good thing, we're always thinking about the next step in growing Parse to become a leading platform in this age of mobile apps.

These steps come in all sizes. Most are small and incremental. Some are larger. Today we're excited to announce a pretty big one.

Parse has agreed to be acquired by Facebook. We expect the transaction to close shortly. Rest assured, Parse is not going away. It's going to get better.

We've worked with Facebook for some time, and together we will continue offering our products and services. Check out Facebook's blog post for more on this.

Combining forces with a partner like Facebook makes a lot of sense. In a short amount of time, we've built up a core technology and a great community of developers. Bringing that to Facebook allows us to work with their incredible talent and resources to build the ideal platform for developers.

We think this is the right way to accomplish what we set out to do. We're excited about the future of Parse!

Ilya, Kevin, and James

And here is Facebook's statement:

Last week, we hosted our first Mobile Developer Conference, where we launched several new products to help mobile developers integrate Facebook: Open Graph for mobile, better Facebook Login, and new developer tools. Today, we're making it even easier to build mobile apps with Facebook Platform by announcing that we have entered into an agreement to acquire Parse, a cloud-based platform that provides scalable cross-platform services and tools for developers.

By making Parse a part of Facebook Platform, we want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices. Parse makes this possible by allowing developers to work with native objects that provide backend services for data storage, notifications, user management, and more. This removes the need to manage servers and a complex infrastructure, so you can simply focus on building great user experiences.

We've worked closely with the Parse team and have seen first-hand how important their products and community are to developers. We don't intend to change this. We will continue offering their products and services, and we're excited to expand what Facebook and Parse can provide together.

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