Social networking giant Facebook frequently purchases smaller companies to add to its capabilities and programming repertoire. The most recent purchase made by Facebook is the purchase of a mobile data compression startup called Onvao. Facebook purchased the company in an effort to make Internet access more affordable.
Much in the same way his users seek privacy on the world's most popular social network, Mark Zuckerberg has made a hefty financial investment in a bid to retain privacy in his Palo Alto neighborhood. The well-off Facebook founder has reportedly bought four houses surrounding his own in the California neighborhood after news of a developer's plans reached him.
All the way back in 2012, the folks at Facebook began cutting out a privacy measure - this week they're completing the job. This measure went by the name of "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" and it included the ability to block your name from search results of the public. This was never an all-encompassing privacy tool - people could still find you if they tried hard enough - but now it'll be gone from Facebook options for real, and forever.
In 2012, Facebook announced that users who never took advantage of the "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" feature would lose access to that search setting option, which had been around for a while and was swapped out with different options. Those who were using the setting could continue to do so, however, something that will change soon as the social network finalizes the removal for everyone.
Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Intel, and others have joined forces to deliver low-cost web access to developing nations, revealing the newly-founded Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) as a way to make getting online cheaper. Started by the World Wide Web Foundation, A4AI has taken as its first target the UN Broadband Commission's goal of "entry-level broadband access priced at less than 5% of monthly income worldwide" Google's Jennifer Haroon, Access Principal, wrote today; that's no small challenge, however, given estimates suggesting internet users in developing markets pay on average 30-percent of their monthly income for a fixed connection.
The Windows Phone 8 Facebook app has received its latest update, bringing it up to version 5.1. With the update -- which is pretty substantial -- users gain access to a variety of new functionality they otherwise have to use the Web for, including the ability to unfriend those no longer wanted on an account. The update can be grabbed now from the Windows Phone Store.
As Instagram is, as they say, "a growing business", they've decided that it's finally time to take charge of their own destiny with a variety of advertisements throughout the feeds of users. In an announcement this week, the folks at Instagram responsible for letting the public know what's going on in their free and publically available app have suggested that they're aiming to make this transition as easy as possible, easing in to the program with "brand that are already great members of the Instagram community."
Facebook Home has been updated, with the new socially-enabled homescreen for Android smartphones now pulling in Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram content in addition to media from your friends list. The update, which hit the Google Play store today, helps crack open Facebook Home from its relatively insular beginnings to a more encompassing social-first platform.
Facebook and Cisco have teamed up to offer free WiFi in select stores, restaurants, and other public locations, aiming to get weary shoppers online in return for a Facebook check-in and some anonymized demographic data. The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) for Facebook Wi-Fi may have an unwieldy name, but it could get you online in a pinch if the social site and networking company have their way, with the promise of participating locations spreading between now and the holidays.
Facebook has updated its Graph Search feature to now include both posts and status updates, expanding the usefulness of the socially-enabled search engine as it digs through more online content. Revealed back in January, and rolled out across the US in July, Graph Search had until now only handled people, places, interests, and photos.