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In a deal that was widely anticipated, Facebook announced today that it has acquired facial recognition upstart TechCrunch reports that the price tag was in the $100 million ballpark.

“Our mission is and has always been to find new and exciting ways to make face recognition a fun, engaging part of people’s lives, and incorporate remarkable technology into everyday consumer products,” wrote in a blog post. “If you’re anything like us, Facebook is a part of your life every single day.  We keep up with our friends and family, share interesting (or mundane) experiences from our daily lives, and perhaps most importantly for us, we share a LOT of photos.”

The purchase follows a string of deals by Facebook in recent months, including the nearly $1 billion acquisition of online photo sharing service Instagram. Like Instagram, offers a free iPhone app.’s Klik that automatically recognizes friends in photos so they can easily be tagged on Facebook.

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