July 16, 2012
Vijaya Prasad

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Over the weekend, news reports emerged that Facebook (s FB) was buying Spool, a mobile-oriented social bookmarking service started by Avichal Garg and Curtis Spencer. At the surface, this seems like yet another acqua-hire but scratch a little deeper and you start to understand Facebook’s motivation in buying this company.

Spool was started in late 2010 and launched an app that essentially allowed you to take web content and access it through an iPhone app. So far, if you are thinking it doesn’t seem any thing special, you are going to be right.  At the app level, it was no different than, say, Instapaper or Pocket, two other immensely popular apps that can be used to read web content offline.

The app, however hides a technology that is immensely useful for Facebook. Spool had built its own media-distribution network using servers and caching media content in various data centers. Web…

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