Facebook May Buy (Part of) Face.com [RUMOR]

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UPDATE: TechCrunch is now saying that this acquisition is a done deal.

The rumor gears are getting warm in regard to Facebook. Of course, rumors are only fun because there's an innate uncertainty about them that excites people into believing they know more than they really do. What's more exciting than being able to predict the future?

Getting deeper into that excitement, rumors abound these past couple of days on the innernets that Facebook is interested in purchasing Face.com, they of the slick face-recognizing mobile camera app, KLIK. According to Israeli business paper Calcalist (Face.com is based in Israel), Face.com is said to be entertaining offers from Facebook that range in the tens of millions of dollars. Newsgeek inflates that offering up to $80 and $100 million.

Face.com has already developed a couple of face-recognizing apps for Facebook Open Graph but what is probably making Facebook's eyes glitter more is the Face.com's mobile app. Launched a mere weeks before Facebook became a public company, the app is a natural complement to Facebook, much more than, say, Instagram. But then again, Facebook was paying more for the social connections of Instagram than the actual technology (or was it?). Instagram doesn't do anything, whereas KLIK's technology actually makes for a better Facebook experience.

$100 million doesn't really make sense, though. After that Instagram acquisition of a ridiculous $1 billion, for Facebook to turn around and offer a paltry (relatively speaking) $100 million for Face.com seems slightly condescending if not also insulting if you're Face.com. Besides, Facebook wouldn't just be getting a company and a suave new mobile app, but also a pretty fitting domain name, too. All Facebook got from Instagram is a now-redundant photo app (thanks to the launch of the Facebook Camera app).

According to GigaOm, Face.com being acquired by Facebook may not be happening wholesale or even as a result of a direct agreement. Rumors appearing in a Russian newspaper suggest that a Moscow-based search engine, Yandex, which owns 18.4% of Face.com from a $4.3 million investment, may be negotiating a swap for that company share in exchange for Facebook stock and money. Yandex has previously partnered with Facebook, such as when the search engine began including Facebook information in some of its search results.

While it doesn't really say one thing or another, a spokesperson for Face.com told WebProNews, "Face.com has nothing to announce or share at this time."

This isn't the first time that Facebook/Face.com rumors have surfaced. Early last year, reports circulated that Face.com had declined an acquisition offer from Facebook but nothing ever came of those.

Last week ended with rumors of Facebook in the works to acquire Opera Systems, who make nice browsers and email clients.