Facebook acquires maker of fitness tracking app Moves, will let it operate as a standalone app

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Facebook has acquired a startup called ProtoGeo Oy, which makes the ‘Moves’ fitness tracking app. The company announced it on its blog, though neither of the companies has revealed how much the deal is worth.

The blog reads:

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.

Moves will continue to operate as a standalone app, and there are no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook.

This acquisition marks Facebook’s entry into the growing fitness and activities tracking market. Moves is a fitness tracking app similar to Runkeeper or Nike+, but collects much more data than these apps. It can sync with a number of apps like Trail and Log My Day among others, and is also compatible with wearable devices like Fitbit and Jawbone Up. The app, which has been a huge hit on the Android and iOS platform, has more than four million downloads since launch.

As mentioned in the post, the app will function independently ala WhatsApp or Instagram, and it won’t share its data with Facebook either. It may not be clear how the social giant plans on using Move’s services, but it surely seems like an interesting move.

Though the wearables sector has yet to take off, fitness apps or services have done quite well. In fact, Nike was also rumored to shut down its FuelBand hardware department, to concentrate on the Nike+ app. Nike though has since then refuted these rumors. With Apple also rumored to be close to launching its iWatch with fitness and activity tracking capabilities and a Healthbook app and Samsung already having S Health and its own Gear Fit smartwatch, this is a sector that could explode.