Facebook buys most of content-sharing site drop.io

The deal brings the social-networking giant drop.io's technology and its founder

Facebook said it purchased most of drop.io, an online content-sharing service, but the social-networking giant sounds more interested in acquiring the company's developers than its technology.

Drop.io is a service that lets users create a "drop" where they can share documents, videos and other digital content. The user can set a time for how long the drop will exist, decide who can view the content, set permissions for who can alter the content and share content in a variety of ways, including on Facebook.

Drop.io has positioned the service as one that is ideal for real-time collaboration because people can add new content to a drop and the people they are sharing it with see it immediately, without having to refresh their browsers.

Also, when multiple people are viewing a drop simultaneously, they can communicate in several ways within the drop, including via an instant message client.

With the acquisition, drop.io will be shutting down the service. The company did not say what it thinks will happen to the technology under Facebook.

Facebook bought "most of drop.io's technology and assets," and the company's founder, Sam Lessin, will join Facebook, according to a drop.io blog post about the acquisition.

Hiring Lessin may have been an important driver for the acquisition. "We can confirm that we recently completed a small talent acquisition for drop.io and acquired most of the company's assets. We're thrilled that Sam Lessin will be joining us at Facebook," Facebook said in a statement.

In its blog post, drop.io said that "as of this week," people won't be able to create new drops. Until Dec. 15, users will be able to download content from drops they've already created. After that, drop.io will delete all data in drops, it said.

Drop.io is free up to 100 MB of storage, but some people pay to get more storage. Nov. 15 will be the last date when drop.io will charge users for extra storage, and those paid users will also lose all their data after Dec. 15.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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