Facebook rumoured to buy facial recognition startup Face.com

Like a true Silicon Valley giant, Facebook is acquiring smaller tech companies left and right. Next up, the company is looking to purchase facial recognition technology startup Face.com, new rumours suggest.

Facebook may be snatching up the Israeli startup for somewhere between $80 million (£51 million) and $100 million (£64 million). The two companies have negotiated multiple times in the past, with Face.com consistently refusing what it believed were low-ball offers from Facebook, according to reports.

The service, founded in 2007, describes itself as "the world's largest and most accurate face recognition platform". In addition to offering a free, public API, Face.com also operates a popular Facebook app called Photo Tagger and an iOS mobile app called KLIK.

Facebook recently launched an iOS camera app, which, especially in concert with its purchase of social photo app Instagram, confirms its interest in entering the mobile photo market in a more serious way. A Face.com acquisition would make perfect sense for the social network as it grows its business post-IPO.

Its existing facial recognition capability, albeit rudimentary, has drawn criticism from users and activists concerned about Facebook's privacy policies.