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Facebook’s shopping spree continues with Lightbox acqui-hire

It’s not an acquisition per se, but Facebook has just snapped up the seven-person team behind photo-sharing app Lightbox.

And yes, Lightbox is another mobile-focused company — the latest in a string of mobile acquisitions by the social network.

As Facebook leads the charge with regard to mobile web standards and development, it’s bringing on more and more people, teams, and products that have specific mobile web core competencies. Lightbox is one such team.

On the startup’s blog, we read that the Lightbox devs had been focusing particularly on Android and HTML5 mobile development, making them a perfect fit with Facebook’s current direction and focus.

Lightbox was founded in late 2010 and has taken a total of $1.2 million in funding from such big-name Valley entities as SV Angel (Ron Conway), 500 Startups (Dave McClure), Index Ventures, Accel Partners, and many others.

The Lightbox product will be shut down June 15, and bits of the startup’s code base will be made available on GitHub. Existing users are being asked to download their photos from the service before it’s shut down. Facebook will not take any of the original Lightbox product or user data.

Facebook named mobile as a weakness and/or risk when its S-1 was first filed. Since then, the company has snapped up mobile-focused startups Glancee and TagTile.

And of course, there was the splashy, $1 billion acquisition of Instagram. That deal is likely undergoing some FTC scrutiny based on the pricetag alone, and Facebook no longer expects to close the deal before Q2 ends.

In addition to all these acquisitions, Facebook has given its own mobile apps a big, photo-friendly facelift just days before it is scheduled to go public.

We’ll see if all this mobile activity will inspire investor confidence. The truth will lie in the IPO numbers at the end of the week.

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