Facebook Picks Up Much of Dogpatch Labs Startup Recrec’s Team

In another not-quite-a-talent-acquisition, most of the founding team of Dogpatch Labs-incubated startup Recrec is going to Facebook.

Two of the cofounders are going to work under Jocelyn Goldfein on the product engineering team. Recrec was working on an interesting technology that automatically converted images into HTML and CSS. The company’s founders also have some experience on the Facebook platform, as one of them developed an application called Easter Eggs that reached 300,000 users in March 2008.

This was a talent hiring, rather than a a traditional acquisition. A similar situation happened with a social recruiting company called Pursuit earlier this year. That company shut down while two of the three founders joined Facebook.

Facebook’s move comes at a time when the company is aggressively pushing HTML5 in its developer community. Chief technology officer Bret Taylor said earlier this year that mobile would be the primary focus of the platform this year and that long-term, the company favors HTML5 above building native applications.

Taylor said the company had been building seven different versions of Facebook to work on the mobile web and in native apps. Facebook recently streamlined the way its serves the newsfeed for mobile devices, making them the same in the iPhone app and on http://m.facebook.com. It also redesigned http://m.facebook.com to automatically detect and adapt to whatever device a user visits the site with.

Not only would HTML5 be simpler to manage in the long-term, it would also make it easier for Facebook to earn revenue through its developer ecosystem. At present, it would be difficult for Facebook to successfully bring Credits to smartphones since Apple controls in-app payments on its platform and Google’s terms of service for Android Market pushes developers to use the company’s Checkout product.