Efficient Frontier Buys Facebook Agency Context Optional for $50 Million

Performance-Marketing Firm Looks to Expand Into Social Media

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One of the biggest independent search firms Efficient Frontier is snapping up Facebook agency Context Optional for a reported $50 million. AllThingsD's Kara Swisher first reported the news and the deal price, which Efficient Frontier did not confirm.

Founded in 2006, Context Optional is one of a growing group of agencies building and maintaining corporate pages on Facebook. It worked with Virgin America on its SFO terminal launch and is one of 65 Facebook "preferred developers," meaning they appear in a directory of agencies Facebook recommends to marketers.

For some clients, Context Optional manages corporate Facebook pages in-house; for others it licenses a tech platform that allows them to do it on their own. Other companies with Facebook tech platforms include Buddy Media and Vitrue.

The self-funded company is led by CEO Kevin Barenblat. A spokesman said the entire staff of 60 will remain.

"We are excited to offer marketers a complete solution for capitalizing on the growing social-marketing opportunity across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn," said David Karnstedt, Efficient Frontier's CEO in a press release. "The acquisition of Context Optional will create a unified platform for marketers to manage all of their social media touch points with brand enthusiasts."

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