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Last Updated: Friday, 20 July 2007, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Social site Facebook buys Parakey
Parakey logo
"Give your computer the bird" is the Parakey phrase
Social networking site Facebook has bought internet start-up, Parakey, run by two of the co-creators of the popular web browser, Mozilla Firefox.

Parakey is described as a platform that "bridges the gap between information on the web and the desktop".

As part of the deal, which is for an undisclosed sum, Mozilla Firefox founders Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt will help to develop the Facebook site.

A notice on Parakey's site says it hopes to makes consumers' lives easier.

"Computers are frustrating," the site says. "Creating documents, finding files, sharing information - why do everyday things still seem so tedious and counterintuitive?"

"Give your computer the bird," it concludes.

College favourite

Facebook was started in 2004 by then-undergraduate Mark Zuckerberg as a social site for fellow Harvard University students and later opened up to users of all ages.

Facebook, once largely confined to American colleges, has grown its audience by more than 500% in the last six months - making it more popular in Britain than in the US.

Facebook allows people to list their personal details online and communicate with other people through the website.

The site's appeal stems from the controls it gives users over who sees what personal details on each member's profile pages.

Firefox has been downloaded more than 300 million times by computer users worldwide and is the second most widely used web browser behind Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

Parakey's founders see their browser operating system as a platform on which other applications could operate.

Facebook has recently decided to let hundreds of independent developers build software within the Facebook site, turning Facebook itself into a kind of operating system for internet users.

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