Category: Facebook

April 25, 2019 Off

Daily Crunch: Facebook is still growing

By Jill T Frey

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here.

1. Facebook reserves $3B for FTC fine, but keeps growing with 2.38B users in Q1

A massive penalty hangs over Facebook’s head, but it otherwise had a very strong Q1 earnings report. The company reached 2.38 billion monthly users, up 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, and it pulled in $15.08 billion in revenue.

Facebook recorded earnings per share were significantly lower than expected, but that’s because it set aside $3 billion to cover a potential FTC fine that it’s still resolving.

2. Scientists pull speech directly from the brain

In a feat that could eventually unlock the possibility of speech for people with severe medical conditions, scientists have successfully recreated the speech of healthy subjects … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Facebook broke Canadian privacy law, joint probe finds

By Jill T Frey

The latest damning assessment of Facebook’s trampling of user privacy comes from the Canada and British Columbia privacy commissioners — which have just published the results of an investigation kicked off in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal last year.

They found the social network company committed serious contraventions of local laws and failed generally to take responsibility for protecting the personal information of Canadians.

Facebook has disputed the findings and refused to implement the watchdogs’ recommendations — including refusing to voluntarily submit to audits of its privacy policies and practices over the next five years.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said it therefore plans to take Facebook to Federal Court to seek an order to force it the company to correct its deficient privacy practices.

Both watchdogs have also called for local privacy laws to be beefed up so that regulators have stronger … Read the rest

April 25, 2019 Off

Internet connectivity projects unite as Alphabet spinout Loon grabs $125M from SoftBank’s HAPSMobile

By Jill T Frey

Two futuristic projects are coming together to help increase global internet access after Loon, the Google spinout that uses a collection of floating balloons to bring connectivity to remote areas, announced it has raised money from a SoftBank initiative.

HAPSMobile, a SoftBank project that is also focused on increasing global connectivity, is investing $125 million into Loon, according to an announcement from SoftBank made this morning. The agreement includes an option for Loon to make a reciprocal $125 million investment in HAPSMobile and it includes co-operation plans, details of which are below.

HAPSMobile is a one-year-old joint venture between SoftBank and U.S. company AeroVironment . The company has developed a solar-powered drone that’s designed to deliver 5G connectivity in the same way Facebook has tried in the past. The social network canceled its Aquila drone last year, although it is reported to have teamed up with Airbus for new trials … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

You might hate it, but Facebook Stories now has 500M users

By Jill T Frey

You might think it’s redundant with Instagram Stories, or just don’t want to see high school friends’ boring lives, but ephemeral Snapchat-style Stories now have 500 million daily users across Facebook and Messenger. WhatsApp’s Stories feature Status has 500 million dailies too, and Instagram hit that milestone three months ago. That’s impressive, because it means one-third of Facebook’s 1.56 billion daily users are posting or watching Stories each day, up from zero when Facebook launched the feature two years ago.

For reference, Stories inventor Snapchat has just 190 million total daily users.

Facebook Stories

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the new stats on today’s Facebook Q1 2019 earnings call, which showed it’s user growth rate had increased but it had to save $3 billion for a potential FTC fine over privacy practices.

Facebook isn’t just using Stories to keep people engaged, but to squeeze more cash out of them. … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Facebook reserves $3B for FTC fine, but keeps growing with 2.38B users in Q1

By Jill T Frey

A massive penalty hangs over Facebook’s head, but it otherwise had a very strong Q1 earnings report. Facebook reached 2.38 billion monthly users, up 2.5 percent from 2.32 billion in Q4 2018 when it grew 2.2 percent, and it now has 1.56 billion daily active users, up 2.63 percent from 1.52 billion last quarter when it grew 2 percent. Facebook pulled in $15.08 in revenue, up 26 percent year-over-year compared to Refinitiv’s consensus estimates of $14.98 billion in revenue.

Facebook recorded earnings per share of $0.85 compared to estimates of $1.63 EPS. However, that’s because Facebook has set aside $3 billion to cover a potential FTC fine that it’s still resolving. Without that fine, it would have had an EPS of $1.89. Despite the set-aside, Facebook still earned $2.429 billion in profit, though that’s down from $4.988 a year ago and $6.8 billion in Q4 2018.

Facebook’s share price … Read the rest

April 24, 2019 Off

Mark Zuckerberg has a podcast

By Jill T Frey

In the future, everyone will have a podcast — and by “future,” I mean like mid-2020. But one step at a time, starting with Facebook founder, CEO and definite human person, Mark Zuckerberg .

Facebook announced the podcast’s Spotify link on Twitter. How’s that for platform synergy? The rather dryly named “Tech and Society with Mark Zuckerberg” will feature, well, conversations on tech and society with Mark Zuckerberg. Honestly, folks, it’s right there in the name.

“Hey everyone,” Zuck says, opening the second of two posted episodes. “This year I am doing a series of public discussions on the future of internet and society,” referring to what looks to be a finite lineup of episodes. The executive explains in the first episode that … Read the rest

April 23, 2019 Off

Facebook has quietly removed three bogus far-right networks in Spain ahead of Sunday’s elections

By Jill T Frey

Facebook has quietly removed three far-right networks that were engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior intended to spread politically divisive content in Spain ahead of a general election in the country, which takes place on Sunday.

The networks had a total reach of almost 1.7 million followers and had generated close to 7.4 million interactions in the past three months alone, according to analysis by the independent group that identified the bogus activity on Facebook’s platform.

The fake far-right activity was apparently not picked up by Facebook.

Instead, activist not-for-profit Avaaz unearthed the inauthentic content, and presented its findings to the social networking giant earlier this month, on April 12. In a press release issued today, the campaigning organization said Facebook has now removed the fakes — apparently vindicating its findings.

“Facebook did a great job in acting fast, but these networks are likely just the tip of the disinformation iceberg … Read the rest

April 22, 2019 Off

The new new web

By Jill T Frey

Over the last five years, almost everything about web development has changed. Oh, the old tech still works, your WordPress and Ruby On Rails sites still function just fine — but they’re increasingly being supplanted by radical new approaches. The contents of your browser are being sliced, diced, rendered, and processed in wholly new ways nowadays, and the state of art is currently in serious flux. What follows is a brief tour of what I like to call the New New Web:

Table of Contents

  1. Single-Page Apps
  2. Headless CMSes
  3. Static Site Generators
  4. The JAMStack
  5. Hosting and Serverlessness
  6. Summary

1. Single-Page Apps

These have become so much the norm — our web projects at HappyFunCorp are almost always single-page apps nowadays — that it’s easy to forget how new and radical they were when they first emerged, in the days of jQuery running in pages dynamically built from templates on the … Read the rest