Facebook buying Moves app in a bid to join fitness-tracking fray

Moves 2.6.3 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 001)Moves 2.6.3 for iOS (iPhone screenshot 002)

After acquiring virtual headset maker Oculus Rift for $2 billion (the deal got a thumbs-up from feds), Facebook now seems to be moving into the fitness tracking space with news of its latest acquisition, Finnish startup ProtoGeo Oy that created the fitness-tracking app Moves, available free in the App Store.

The development comes amid some major reshuffling in the fitness and health tracking market.

For instance, Nike is currently in the process of shuttering its wearable-hardware division that produces FuelBand-branded accessories and there are rumors that the company is collaborating with Apple on a sensor-laden fitness band that would control other devices via gestures…

According to a media release by Helsini-based Moves, the app will continue to operate as a standalone app, and “there are no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook”.

At the time of this writing, Moves was still available in the App Store.

Moves notes:

Today, we’re delighted to announce that Facebook has acquired our company. Since we launched Moves, we’ve been focused on running a simple and clean activity diary that millions of people like you have enjoyed using.

Now, we’re joining Facebook’s talented team to work on building and improving their products and services with a shared mission of supporting simple, efficient tools for more than a billion people.

The iOS app, pictured top of post, taps the iPhone 5s’s power efficient M7 motion coprocessor to track your movement in the background and build a profile of your daily activity.

So, this is now Facebook’s mobile arsenal.

Facebook mobile arsenal

Helsinki, Finland headquartered ProtoGeo Oy was established in January 2012. Their iOS app launched a year later and has been downloaded four million times to date on iOS and Android devices, prompting Apple to call it a “surprise hit”.

ProtoGeo raised seed funding from Lifeline Ventures, PROfounders, AJP Holding, Juha Lindfors, Jyri Engeström and Tekes.

Facebook really hit the ball out of the park with its most recent earnings report, crushing estimates with a first-quarter profit of $642 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a profit of $219 million, or 9 cents a share, for the year-ago period.

Facebook also said its finance chief David Ebersman was stepping down to be replaced by David Wehner, currently VP for Corporate Finance.

Facebook most recent engagement stats paint a rosy picture for the firm.

Facebook stats
Image via CNBC.

There are 200 million people using its revamped mobile Messenger software for the iPhone and Android, Zuckerbeg said. Facebook’s other mobile properties are rising fast, too.

Instagram, for example, now has more than 200 million regular users and its recently-acquired messaging app WhatsApp has just crossed the half-a-billion mark.

The Facebook service itself now enjoys nearly 1.3 billion monthly active users, or more than Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter combined.

In other Facebook news, the firm this morning announced a new Facebook Newswire service aimed at stealing journalists from Twitter. The service is powered by Storyful, a tool to discover and verifying newsworthy social media content.

Facebook Newswire aggregates “newsworthy content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations” and is available via both a dedicated Facebook Page and a  Twitter account.