Facebook is going button crazy, adding a new - and slightly creepy - "Ask" button to check up on someone's relationship status, and reportedly intending to roll out an "I'm a Voter" button to encourage election engagement. The "Ask" button for current relationship is an extension of the similar options for things like employment and contact details, but Facebook has now made it easier to to find out whether someone is dating.
Facebook is taking a second shot at sniping Snapchat, reportedly readying a new short video messaging app despite only killing its Poke app earlier this month. Facebook "Slingshot" is the result - potentially to be renamed before release - of several months of internal handiwork, it's said, and follow a Snapchat-style model of ephemeral messaging.
Future trips to Russia could involve a bit less social access, if a recent interview with Russia's Maxim Ksenzov, deputy head of the Roskomnadzor (Roscom), is any indication. Twitter in particular has drawn an unfavorable eye from the nation, which sees it as a hotbed for extremist content.
Facebook is rolling out a new way to push contextual content based on your check-ins, which is coming via an OTA update. Now when you check in to a location, cards will show up telling you who else may have been there, relying on your Facebook connections for the data. It also works for status updates, which could keep users glued to the service more than they currently are.
Facebook has quietly axed its Poke and Camera apps, yanking them from Apple's App Store after they failed to set the social world alight. Poke was Facebook's attempt to cash in on the ephemeral photo craze begun by Snapchat, allowing Facebook users to send each other self-destructing photos, but which languished under the shadow of persistent rumors that the social network was trying to buy its smaller app rival.
Yahoo, who trail behind contemporaries like Google, have topped the list of large tech companies making acquisitions in 2013. According to a study by PrivCo, Yahoo acquired more companies and spent more money than anyone else. With an upcoming investment maturing, the spending may increase, but some are wondering what Yahoo is up to.
Facebook has ambitious plans to use Oculus Rift to create a billion-player game, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe has teased, immersing social network users in a quite literally massive multiplayer environment, though in the meantime it will focus on a speedier release of the next headset. Oculus VR may be a $2bn addition to Facebook's roster of acquired companies, but the team is still looking at how it can motivate young coders and students to develop new virtual reality applications.
At their F8 Developers conference today, Facebook is taking on some interesting privacy issues. They’ve announced users can now use Facebook to log-in to apps anonymously, giving them the ability to leave all private info some apps want to know about them at the door. The social giant is also allowing us to give apps permission in piecemeal portions, should we use Facebook as our log-in solution.