Facebook announced this afternoon that it has reached agreement to acquire WhatsApp, the incredibly popular multi-platform mobile messaging service. Oh, you want to know how much the deal is for? How does $16 billion sound? The breakdown makes that $4 billion in cash plus approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares.
According to the press release, WhatsApp will continue to operate independently and “retain its brand,” while the move will help to accelerate “Facebook’s ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world.”
For those new to WhatsApp, understand that the messaging platform has over 450 million users each month with 70% active on any given day, which also means they are “approaching the entire global telecom SMS volume.” The numbers are impressive for sure, but are they $16 billion impressive? Facebook certainly thinks so.
And that’s that. We’ll jump on the conference all at 3PM Pacific and update should there be other news. (more…)
Does anyone remember Rockmelt’s Android application? It was easily one of my favorite apps of 2013. You see, Rockmelt was great at bringing you random-yet-precise topics of your choosing without asking you to do much work. For me, I used it to unplug from the world of tech and find current off-the-wall stories on sports, celeb gossip, food, travel, and lifestyle when I was lounging on my couch in the evenings.Unfortunately for me, the app only lasted all of two short months thanks to an acquisition by Yahoo. Since Yahoo shut it down, I have been hunting for an app that can bring me a similar reading experience without much fuss. I think I may have found it in Facebook’s Paper, except they forgot to release it on my platform of choice. (more…)
Facebook is about to release a barrage of stand-alone apps for its services to get you to pick and choose which you’d like to use. Facebook as an ecosystem is potentially too large to bring all of it into one app, so Zuckerberg and the crew will lean (not the Bieber kind) it out and create individual app experiences. The first is called Paper. Yes, you heard about this one a couple of weeks ago.
With Paper, Facebook is trying to get you to use Facebook as a news source or aggregator. Paper introduces a full-screen, immersive experience that is distraction free, leaving you with only the content in front of your eyes. Your Timeline is one section, with beautiful new image, video, and long-form post layouts. But you will also see sections for specific types of news that you’d like to follow from sports to politics to photography. There are stories from mainstream media along with content from “emerging voices.” (more…)
According to sources of Recode inside Facebook, the social network is almost set to launch a reader application, known as Paper. Paper, much like Flipboard, will be an aggregator, combining the web’s top stories, your friend’s status updates and paid advertisements, into a streamlined experience that you will want to read every morning; like a newspaper. (more…)
Facebook Home, the Facebook-made replacement launcher for Android devices, has been controversial (to put it mildly) ever since launch. Many lamented the fact that it wasn’t nearly as functional as other launchers, lacking features as simple as folder creation, usable widgets, and an app dock. Others, concerned about the potential for data collection, warned it could track users’ every move and herald the coming of hyper-targeted advertisements.
Regardless, Facebook Home hasn’t exactly been a runaway success, so the company continues to respond to feedback and tweak the app accordingly. In a recent update, for example, significant (and welcome) changes to the lock screen UI were made. (more…)
Another day, another fetid Facebook money grab. In a move that is sure to annoy a majority of users, Facebook announced today that it intends to display 15-second video ads in newsfeeds. Beginning Thursday, the advertisements will play automatically when a user views them on either the Web or smartphones, albeit without audio unless clicked or tapped. (more…)
Users of Facebook could see an update available for the world’s largest social network sometime soon, bringing the app to version 4.0. Inside the update are a number of changes, the largest being a completely new UI, one that will remind everyone of a similar look that Twitter implemented to their application recently and an overall iOS 7 look. Flat flat flat.
Back in October, Facebook launched an updated and sexified version of its Messenger app. The update was only available for a small amount of test users, and even for some that did get the update, it was later updated yet again to remove the improvements. It was a sneaky and upsetting move to users, but Facebook was clearly looking out for its users’ best interests. (more…)