Zuckerberg goes shopping: Facebook’s top 10 purchases

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Facebook announced Tuesday that it plans to buy virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion

It's the latest high-profile acquisition during the for the social network giant

Facebook previously bought Instagram, WhatsApp and many other successful startups

CNN  — 

Facebook announced Tuesday that it plans to buy virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion.

It’s the latest high-profile acquisition during the for the social network giant during its 10-year existence. Some of those near-50 tech startups have been bought for their technology, others for their talent.

Here’s how the best of that shopping list has panned out.

Oculus VR

Oculus makes a virtual reality headset which covers users’ eyes and immerses them in a virtual environment that responds to their head movements. Facebook said its focus is on investing in the product for the future.


In an attempt to dominate messaging online, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for the record sum of $19 billion. The five-year old app had 450 million users at the time of the acquisition in February, adding a million users every day.


Facebook recognizes people’s faces in photos and tags them with their names. The social network acquired a face-recognition technology company which made this possible, Face.com, for between $55 million and $100 million in 2012.


Facebook bought the photo-sharing network Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 with a combination of cash and stock. “Providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together,” Mark Zuckerberg said about the purchase.

Atlas Advertiser Suite

Atlas Advertiser Suite boosted Facebook’s ad sales after it bought the company from Microsoft for between $50 and $100 million in April 2013. The campaign management platform was developed for marketers and agencies.

Patents deal

In April 2012, Facebook announced an agreement with Microsoft, which assigned Facebook the right to purchase a portion of a patent portfolio that the PC giant acquired from AOL Inc. Price tag: $550 million in cash.


Facebook acquired location sharing service Gowalla for an undisclosed sum in 2011. The purchase enabled Facebook users to share their location more often. Its features were integrated into Facebook’s Timeline, which was launched at around the same time.


The social media feed, which pulls in updates from different social networks, became part of Facebook in 2009, when the social network purchased it for $15 million in cash. As part of the agreement, all FriendFeed employees joined Facebook while the company’s four founders were given senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.


When Facebook bought Parakey in 2007 for an undisclosed sum, it was its first big acquisition. Facebook was actually buying the brains behind the startup – Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt, the co-founders of Mozilla Firefox, an open-source web browser. Ross and Hewitt joined Facebook’s team to work on the development of the network.


In a deal that inspired the 2010 Oscar-nominated drama “The Social Network,” Facebook agreed to acquire ConnectU from the Winklevoss brothers after a court settlement under which Facebook bought the rival networking site for cash and a share in Facebook stock.