Facebook has acquired visual shopping and artificial intelligence (AI) startup GrokStyle to accelerate its own AI capabilities. “We are excited to welcome GrokStyle to Facebook,” Facebook spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said in a statement. This followed after GrokStyle said on its website that it was shutting down operations. “We are excited to share that we are moving on as a team. Our team and technology will live on, and we will continue using our AI to build great visual search experiences for retail,” the online post claimed.
GrokStyle claim to fame came when its application was integrated into Ikea’s mobile app. A buyer could click a photo of a furniture and home decor product. The AI technology would then match it to similar products that the customer could buy online.
It is expected that Facebook will leverage GrokStyle’s existing AI technical competence and talent pool to bolster its own efforts in this field. This is especially at a time when the social media giant is pushing further into commerce, helping vendors and retailers advertise and sell to users, especially on its Marketplace platform. The company’s fourth quarter numbers showed that its payments and other fees revenue, which include online game purchases and peer-to-peer transactions on the platform, shot up by 46% quarter-over-quarter touching $274 million.
GrokStyle is the second purchase by Facebook this year. Earlier this year, it acquihired the team of Chainspace, a blockchain technology company.