Pinterest has announced that it is acquiring the team responsible for Fleksy. The photo sharing company has only acqui-hired the developers and employees behind the keyboard app, and not the technology itself.
The financial detail of this talent acquisition has not been disclosed. Fleksy confirms that the app will continue to exist in the app stores (Android and iOS), however presumably there won’t be any updates. The company has also announced that it will open source some of Fleksy’s components to shift the development mantle to the developer community.
“As a tribute to our incredible community of users we have made the decision to open-source some of the Fleksy components that the blind and visually impaired community grew to love. We trust you’ll do great things with it,” it explained in its blog post.
Pinterest confirmed that Fleksy founder Kosta Eleftheriou will join the product engineering team, and almost half of the employees will be absorbed into the mobile engineering department.
Fleksy was launched four years ago on iOS as a standalone keyboard app. It rose to fame for its powerful error-correcting algorithm, that decoded users’ gestures and taps. The app was embraced by the visually impaired community as it decoded muscle memory, and enabled eyes-free typing. Fleksy is currently available in almost 40 languages and in Qwerty, Azerty, Qwertz, Dvorak, and Colemak layouts.
However, the reason behind Pinterest’s interest in Fleksy employees still remains unknown. The sharing service recently also hired a head of diversity to recruit more women and minorities, as the industry faces criticism for its lack of representation. It hired Candice Morgan, who previously worked for various companies’ diversity programs that seeks to expand opportunities for women and business.
Pinterest also started a year-long apprenticeship program for engineers from minority backgrounds, and an early identification program to give internships to minority college freshmen.