Google Snaps Up Web App Builder Divshot

Google will fold Divshot into its development platform for app developers Firebase.

Larry Loeb, Blogger, Informationweek

October 14, 2015

3 Min Read

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Google has acquired Divshot, a three-year-old Web application-building and HTML 5 hosting platform company, for an undisclosed amount. The Santa Monica, Calif.-based startup will be incorporated into Google's mobile app backend platform Firebase, and will shut down on Dec. 14.  

With the addition of Divshot to its portfolio, Google will have a more robust platform for HTML 5 content. Divshot has been accepted by developers. It benefits Google by giving developers another reason to migrate to the Google Cloud Platform.

Divshot's open sourced content serving platform Superstatic is described on Github as, "an enhanced static web server that was built to power Divshot. It has fantastic support for HTML5 pushState applications as well as clean URLs and other goodies."

Google telegraphed its push to HTML 5 after blocking Flash content in its Chrome browser in September. Amazon also blocked Flash content from its websites around the same time.

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This is not the first time Divshot has worked with Firebase.

Divshot's cofounder Michael Bleigh noted in the announcement:

Divshot and Firebase have teamed up before: Firebase sponsored Divshot's Static Showdown hackathon and was used by more than 50 percent of the developers who participated.

Bleigh also trumpeted new Divshot products that integrate Firebase technology:

We're launching a brand new Firebase command-line interface today with a local static web server powered by Divshot's open-source Superstatic library. Now you can develop locally with all of your rewrites, redirects, and other Firebase Hosting options.

Regarding the company's new relationship with Google, "none of your data has been or will be automatically shared with Google or Firebase," according to the migration plan outlined on the Firebase site.

Google's Firebase is a static hosting platform for developers that delivers static content such as HTML, JavaScript, and images over an SSL connection with its own content delivery network to the end-user. Google acquired Firebase in Oct. 2014, and has remained basically independent since then. It does run on top of the Google Cloud Platform, however.

[Read about how Google is pushing for a faster mobile Web.]

Firebase takes care of the SSL details for the developer, such as getting the necessary certificates. It also says its CDN has multiple POPs around the work. It says that the data is stored on solid state devices. Those things greatly reduce the latency time of accessing static data. This reduction of latency is especially important for mobile apps.

Not everyone was thrilled by the news, however. One commenter on the Firebase blog wrote, "Not good news to me. We [lose] features AND custom domains are paid now."

Before the acquisition, Divshot had raised $1.18 million in two rounds of funding, according to TechCrunch.

About the Author(s)

Larry Loeb

Blogger, Informationweek

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange. His first Mac had 128 KB of memory, which was a big step up from his first 1130, which had 4 KB, as did his first 1401. You can e-mail him at [email protected].

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