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Facebook hires mobile app Pieceable's engineering staff

Facebook continues to beef up its mobile know-how, acquiring the small staff from Pieceable Software on 11 June.

Founded last year, Pieceable makes an iOS app called the Pieceable Viewer, which lets publishers view their iPhone and iPad apps through a Web browser. Since it launched, the company says it has demonstrated more than 800,000 apps.

As part of the deal, Facebook hired the three engineers behind Pieceable, but did not purchase the whole company, its technology or customer data, according to a note on the Pieceable website. The engineers are expected to join Facebook's mobile team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"We can't wait to begin working with the Facebook team to help our friends, family, and more than 900 million others connect and share in new ways," the Pieceable team in the note.

Pieceable will shut down its hosted service on 31 December, at which time all apps stored on its system will be deleted.

"We will be winding down the Pieceable service at the end of the year so we can focus on the new challenges and opportunities at Facebook," the engineers wrote.

Those who still want to use Pieceable will be able to do so even after the hosted service goes away. The company will release an open source version of Pieceable in "a few months" that users will be able to run on their own Mac hardware.

The open source version should be ready around late September or early October. Pieceable will also release a tool to load previously uploaded app builds into the open source version.

Facebook has made several other mobile buys recently. In May, the social network snapped up mobile commerce start-up Karma, according to TechCrunch, as well as the developers of the Lightbox Android photo app.

The news comes several days after Facebook officially unveiled its App Center, a collection of free social applications for both the Web and mobile platforms.