Facebook Buys Mobile App Infrastructure Service Provider Parse
Facebook’s latest acquisition will give it a foot in the door to providing back-end services for cloud data storage, notifications and user management to app makers. That’s because Parse, the latest company to join Facebook’s ranks, identifies as a mobile-back-end-as-a-service company (mBaaS); it helps developers get up and running with basic infrastructure features.
Parse’s services aren’t just for tiny companies looking to find a quick path to mobile app stardom. Providers of these backend app services target enterprises of every size who need to store data in the cloud for mobile retrieval by internal employees or customers. That means, theoretically, these clients could become Facebook’s paying customers -- Parse’s business model provides a free service up to a certain workload, then charges a subscription fee once a certain number of data requests per month have been made. There’s also an enterprise-specific subscription plan. About 10% of Parse’s customers pay a fee.
Facebook seems keen to keep these customers happy. "By making Parse a part of [the] Facebook Platform, we want to enable developers to rapidly build apps that span mobile platforms and devices," the company wrote on its developer blog. "Parse makes this possible by allowing developers to work with native objects that provide backend services for data storage, notifications, user management, and more. This removes the need to manage servers and a complex infrastructure, so you can simply focus on building great user experiences."
Rachel Rosmarin's technology experience goes back a decade to the dawn of Wi-Fi, smartphones and the Mp3. She has an in-depth knowledge of consumer electronics and has cultivated her love of useful new toys and innovative social software at publications including Tom’s Guide, Forbes, 2.0, Sound & Vision and Mobile Magazine. She holds degrees in Journalism and Science In Human Culture from Northwestern University and is based in Los Angeles.
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