Facebook kicks off 2015 with speech recognition & video acquisitions

Barely two weeks into 2015, Facebook has already announced two acquisitions. The social network has kept the details of the deals quiet, but they show the firm is focusing on improving its speech recognition and video capabilities.

Wit.ai - Facebook has purchased the speech recognition startup, which was founded in 2013. Wit.ai claims to have 6,000 developers using its technology, which powers hundreds of apps and devices.

Wit.ai's tool can take audio and turn it into structured data, telling an app to perform whatever task was requested by the user.

QuickFire - The social network highlighted the importance of video content, earlier this week, and this was followed up with an announcement that it had purchased video-compression startup QuickFire.

"QuickFire Networks was founded on the premise that the current network infrastructure is not sufficient to support the massive consumption of video that's happening online without compromising on video quality," QuickFire CEO Craig Lee said in a statement.

QuickFire claims it can solve this capacity problem using its proprietory technology which dramatically reduces the bandwidth without degrading video quality.

Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged over 1 billion video posts a day, highlighting the importance of multimedia uploads to the site. The social network believes that video clips help to provide unique content and can help businesses and people to expand their reach.

"Whether you're a journalist in the field or a public figure sharing a part of your life, post raw videos that are compelling, shareable, clips that no one else will have," the firm noted on the Facebook blog.

After all, who doesn't want more Taylor Swift videos?

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.