If you missed out on this bit of news last weekend in the midst of all the talk about Facebook's billion dollar deal with Instagram, here's a recap. Facebook has struck another deal to buy a customer-loyalty near field communication (NFC) application Tagtile developed by two IITians working in the US.
Developed by Abheek Anand and Soham Majumdar it is basically a customer loyalty service which works with merchants to know what customers wants and retaining them. Anand was working with Engine Yard, a cloud computing startup, whereas, Mazumdar was working with Google as a software engineer. Both the founders are now joining Facebook as it acquires substantially all of Tagtile's assets.
So what exactly is Tagtile and what attracted the world's largest social networking firm to it? The app allows merchants to track their customer base, the frequency of their visits and get interactive with their customers by sending out promotions and offers to the mobile phones.
It provides the merchants with a hardware that can be plugged into a power source and all customers have to do is download the Tagtile mobile app and tap their phones against the device once they are in the premises of the store. Through this process, the customers earn 'tags' by which they can redeem points and coupons and the merchants can send out special offers, promotions and other information directly to their phones
"We won't be taking on any new customers as of today, but the service will continue to work as is for now. We'll be reaching out to customers directly once future plans are set, but Tagtile as it exists today won't be a part of what we do at Facebook" announces a post on Tagtile titled 'We are joining Facebook'!
This is what Facebook had to say about the deal:
"We're happy to confirm that Tagtile's founders are joining Facebook, and that Facebook is acquiring substantially all of the company's assets. We've admired the engineering team's efforts for some time now and we're excited to have them join Facebook."
This doesn't clarify if Tagtile, as it stands today, will remain as an independent business like Instagram (which has tens of millions of users), though our guess is it won't. It seems Facebook is filling up its premises with all the people with interesting ideas ahead of its IPO which may see it launch a slew of new services to help monetisation leveraging its reach.