Firefox Boys, Joe Hewitt & Blake

We are past the point of viewing Facebook as a company that’s likely to get bought up by the Yahoos and Googles of the world. Late yesterday, news broke that Facebook has acquired Parakey, which is a start-up company run by the co-founders of Mozilla Firefox, Blake Ross and Joe Hewitt.

The company’s press release states:

Ross and Hewitt will join Facebook’s team to work on the development of Facebook Platform and the company’s website.

Blake and Joe built the Firefox web browser and then turned to the developer community to build on top of the foundation they’d established, not unlike what we’ve done with Facebook Platform, said Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook. The work they’ve done with Firefox and Parakey and their approach to building products fit right in at Facebook.

Ross and Hewitt are best known as the co-founders of Firefox, which has been downloaded more than 300 million times by people worldwide. Hewitt went on to build popular web development tools such as Firebug. In early 2006, Ross and Hewitt founded Parakey to build a platform bridging the gap between information on the web and the desktop.

“Facebook Platform is finally making it easy to share experiences with friends and family over the web, a goal Joe and I have worked toward for years,” said Ross. “We are thrilled to join the most innovative technology company in the industry.”

This acquisition further emphasizes the direction that the company has taken with its recent extensions to the Facebook platform and gives us an idea of the role that Facebook is likely to play in the future of the web. Parakey, is shooting to build a Web operating system, which falls in nicely with what Facebook has been up to lately.

 If you haven’t checked out Facebook lately, then you should. It’s not just a social network for college students anymore. Some of their new features have taken social web to a whole new level.