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Facebook Buys Mobile Group Messaging Service Beluga

Facebook has announced the acquisition of Beluga, in a move aimed at strengthening its position in the mobile group messaging market.

The company has acquired both the product and the entire Beluga team, TechCrunch reveals. Facebook has usually made acquisitions to bring in new talent but this time, the company is going for the technology as well.

The service allows users to communicate with a group of friends on the go. Beluga is available for Apple's iOS and Google's Android platform. Facebook acquired the company in the middle of a round of angel funding.

Members are able to communicate with selected friends and create groups or pods of people within which they can send messages and share locations and photos over their smartphones.

Beluga was founded by former Google employees Ben Davenport, Lucy Zhang and Jonathan Perlow. Facebook said in a statement that the service will continue as before, the Beluga user accounts and data won't be affected in any way. The company will announce its plans for Beluga in the coming few weeks.

“We’re excited to continue to build our vision for mobile group messaging as part of the Facebook team. Beluga and Facebook are committed to create new and better ways to communicate and share group experiences,” the Beluga team said in a statement.