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Facebook buys Israeli startup

Facebook is in the process of snaffling up Snaptu, an Israeli company that develops applications for 'feature' mobile phones.

Snaptu was founded in 2007 and recently collaborated with Facebook on an application that accesses the social networking site from not-so smart phones. Some 80 per cent of mobile phones are 'feature' phones - able to run a few basic apps but some way short of what are termed 'smart'.

On its company blog Snaptu said it is "excited" to announce that was "to be acquired by Facebook." Terms of the deal have not yet been made public, but it is estimated that Facebook will fork out something in the region of $65 million for the start-up.

Snaptu claims 30 million users for its apps that access to the likes of Twitter, and Google's photo service Picasa.

"We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development," says the blog. "And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.

"The acquisition is expected to close within a few weeks. We’ll have more updates on Snaptu soon, and we’ll be working hard to offer a richer and more advanced Facebook app on virtually every mobile phone. During this transition period, we expect Snaptu will continue to operate as it does today.

We’d like to thank everyone involved in the development of Snaptu, especially our millions of loyal users. We can’t wait to get started at Facebook."