Even though Facebook acquired both Instagram and WhatsApp several years ago, the two services have operated fairly independently for a while. There has been some limited integration between the three in the form of friends and Story sharing across services, without being taken any further. Back in January, though, the company announced it's working on a unified backend for its messaging apps, and even considering cross-platform chat. But before doing so, Facebook needs everybody to know Instagram and WhatsApp are part of the company, as it wants to append its name to both services. Read More
Yesterday Mark Zuckerberg revealed his new "privacy-focused vision for social networking" in a brief manifesto which indirectly acknowledges the company's previous failures. The vision is based on a privacy-centric platform the company claims will be built openly and in consultation with experts across various fields. Presumably this is all after it's finished doing everything it can to fight privacy laws. Read More
According to a report out of the New York Times yesterday, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg ordered the company's high-level managers to switch to Android phones earlier this year. It's not clear if the order was ever enforced, or to what degree, but it apparently came on the heels of an MSNBC interview in which Tim Cook openly criticized Facebook's data collection and privacy policies in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and associated congressional hearings.
Cook's remarks apparently so upset Zuckerberg that he issued the Android phone directive - though, as The Verge points out, it seems unlikely that it worked (at least very well):
[W]e checked Twitter activity from several Facebook executives, including blockchain lead David Marcus and VP of AR and VR Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, all of whom are still shown to be using iPhones.
Particularly for those who were around from the start, usage of Facebook might have waned in recent years. Considering it was originally intended to bring you closer to your friends and family, things are a bit different nowadays. Scroll through your news feed today and you'll likely find a mixture of memes, recipe videos, and adverts (in my case, anyway, but that will depend on what you like/follow), with just a smattering of posts from people you know IRL. The company's mission for 2018: put friends and family at the forefront once again.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined this renewed focus in a post on the site yesterday, where he said that feedback from users was at the heart of upcoming changes to the ranking system. Read More
Facebook usually buys apps and various online services, but not today. The company has just announced that it has agreed to purchase Oculus VR, the company working on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. The final price for the company was $2 billion ($400 million cash, $1.6 billion stock). That's 2 Instagrams, if you're keeping track.
Oculus VR has been the darling of the gaming realm ever since its wildly successful Oculus Rift Kickstarter, and just announced a second version of the Oculus Rift developer kit. The technology is so impressive that computer gaming heavyweight John Carmack joined the company, and recently severed all ties with id Software to work full time as Oculus' CTO. Read More
Facebook Home has arrived, and whether we like it or not, it's here to stay. The 2.5/5.0 rating at the close of the day isn't exactly inspiring, but it's likely a knee-jerk reaction from Facebook haters, which I am confident will go up to somewhere in the 3.X range with further improvements. Cameron addressed the current state of Home pretty well earlier today, so now that the dust has settled, it's time for a fun video to finish off the work week, both for Facebook employees who worked on the product and us, its potential (but unlikely) users.
I'll be honest - I haven't liked a launch video this much in a while. Read More