Facebook, which has been on the receiving end of a couple lawsuits in the past couple weeks, has acquired the startup Branch Media, the company at the helm of Potluck and similarly-named Branch. This particular acquisition, according to a Facebook spokesperson, was to bring in Branch Media’s talent, and though the social network hasn’t stated as much, word has it from sources that spoke to The Verge that $15 million was dropped on the startup.
The announcement was made by Branch Media’s Josh Miller on Facebook, where he said the team will be “forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: ‘Build Branch at Facebook scale!'” There aren’t too many details at this point, but Miller promises more later on, adding, “I am writing this haphazardly from a mountain in Japan (I was tipped that the story was going to leak while on vacation).”
It seems Potluck and Branch will both continue to exist outside of Facebook’s walls, and Miller notes that the products Branch Media will be building are going to be “reminiscent” of both services. The company is composed of eight team members, who are apparently all going to the social network in the transition, though that wasn’t entirely clear.
As mentioned, this follows a couple recent lawsuits that have come Facebook’s way, the first alleging the social network violates users’ privacy by reading private messages that contain a third-party link. The second was over advertisements that reportedly display a false endorsement from users, claiming they have “Liked” it when displaying the advertisement to that user’s friends. In both cases, damages are being sought.