Feeds

'Press Like for 1MB of data': Facebook picks up Pryte in-app data tech

Per-app, metered access tech lets tight-fisted mob users spend their pennies on mobile data

Best practices for enterprise data

Facebook has acquired the team behind in-app data payment software Pryte for an undisclosed sum as part of its plans to lower the cost of accessing its software in developing countries.

The acquisition was disclosed by Helsinki-based Pryte on Tuesday. The software company's team indicated it will work with Facebook's internet team

Pryte is a technology that let customers pay for mobile data usage from within an app. This gives tight-fisted mobile phone owners a way to keep track of their precise spending on mobile data, and lets app-makers bundle in data as a free service for certain bits of their software.

"We're joining Facebook, whose mission to connect the world by partnering with operators to bring people online in a profitable way aligns closely with our team's goals," the company explained. "We are excited to get started, and make an even greater impact by advancing the work we are doing in collaboration with Facebook's great team working to further Internet.org's goal of making affordable internet access available to everyone in the world."

Pryte's technology measures user activity, app use, and context "to trigger marketing and charging," the company says. "Pryte device metering and heuristics enable exact and real-time app-based enforcement of mobile data traffic. Our technology is cloud-based, meaning that the operator doesn't need to make any changes to its core infrastructure." [Privacy-aware readers may point out that this tech would monitor a vast amount of stuff being done on a handset, something of potential concern given the recent Snowden revelations.—Ed.]

The acquisition appears to line up with Facebook's current major goal of bringing the next five billion or so people in the world online. With the team behind Pryte's technology, Facebook can more easily design systems that reduce the mobile data cost of using Facebook on handsets in emerging markets, and by offering its advertizers a way to trade free data for user attention.

This buy follows Facebook's acquisition of Israeli-startup Snaptu in March, 2011. That company developed technology that made sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and others accessible on low-end feature phones. This gave Facebook another valuable in to emerging markets.

Now, three years later, with low-cost smartphones flooding in and $20 Android phones on the way, the Pryte team will likely work on making Facebook access cheap or free for some people. Perhaps the data will be delivered by Facebook's globe-spanning drone fleet as well? ®

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?