Facebook acquires mobile data plan firm Pryte




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BY ALEXEI ORESKOVIC

SAN FRANCISCO  – Inc is acquiring Pryte, a Finnish that aims make it easier for mobile phone users in under-developed parts of world use wireless apps.

did disclose financial terms of deal, which spokeswoman Vanessa Chan said is expected close later this month.

Pryte’ service, which has publicly launched yet, seeks make it easier for consumers without wireless data to use online services by selling short-term passes that would provide access to particular mobile apps, such as or Foursquare.

Facebook, world’ largest social network with 1.28 billion users, is primarily interested in the team behind Pryte, led by Executive Markku Makelainen, Chan said.

The -year old, Helsinki-based has valuable experience and relationships working with wireless operators, particularly in emerging markets, she said.

The has fewer than 30 employees, though it’ clear how many will join Facebook.

The deal marks Facebook’s latest effort to advance its of connecting people in under-developed parts of the world to the . Facebook has partnered with wireless operators in certain countries to offer free access to its social network and the company is building drones and satellites that will beam access to remote regions of the world.

Facebook Executive Mark Zuckerberg has said that connecting the “next five billion people” to the is of the company’s priorities going forward.