A spokesperson for Facebook told us via email:
We’re excited to announce that we recently acquired friend.ly, a Silicon Valley startup that created a really compelling way for people to express themselves and meet others through answering questions. We’ve admired the team’s efforts for some time now, and we’re looking forward to having [them] make a big impact on the way millions of people connect and engage with each other on Facebook.
Question-and-answer applications on Facebook have waxed and waned in popularity, with the most recent peak for the category occurring a couple of weeks ago; friend.ly’s own user base has tapered off its growth, at least compared to the competition.
According to our own AppData, friend.ly has 10,077 daily active users, down from an all-time high of over 1.6 million, and 291,590 monthly active users, compared to an all-time high of over 6.9 million.
By contrast, 21 Questions has 665,399 daily active users, down from a high of nearly 5.5 million, and over 28.7 monthly active users, down from a high of more than 32.9 million.
Facebook had relaunched its own Questions application this March, although the tool is more focused on creating one-off polls than on encouraging people to get to know one another.
For the social network to acquire something already provided by numerous third party developers and that isn’t the leader in the category suggests that perhaps Facebook might want to use friend.ly’s capabilities not just to enhance the native Questions application but to encourage users to populate their profiles, especially with the impending beta launch of timeline.