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

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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? ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.