News of Facebook splashing out $2bn to buy virtual reality headset startup Oculus has prompted not only surprise but horror among developers and fans, with the company facing a sizable backlash as the news spreads. Developers and would-be gamers waiting for the consumer Rift headset have reacted for the most part negatively, accusing Oculus of "selling out" and voicing concerns that the project will wither and die at Mark Zuckerberg's hand.
Facebook has bought Oculus, spending $2bn on the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, in what the social network says will be a push to grow 3D vision in gaming, communications, and "new social experiences." The deal, which will be made up of around $400m in cash and the remainder in Facebook stock, is expected to close before the end of June 2014, and will help Facebook in not playing catch-up to future platforms as, founder Mark Zuckerberg concedes, it did with mobile.
Facebook is testing a new privacy feature that warns users around who can see their status updates and content if they're infrequent users of the sharing settings. Dubbed a "Privacy Check-up," the pop-up message flags the current sharing setting and offers a variety of options for more granular control.
At the Game Developers Conference, Facebook has revealed it averages 375 million people playing games connected to the social network per month. This represents connected gamers playing games on both desktop and mobile devices, with the games receiving an average of 735 million referrals daily.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has spoken out on concerns about privacy and data protection following its acquisition by Facebook, insisting that nothing will change in what individual information it collects and how it uses it. "If partnering with Facebook meant that we had to change our values, we wouldn't have done it" Koum writes of the $19bn deal announced last month. "Instead, we are forming a partnership that would allow us to continue operating independently and autonomously."
Facebook has quietly developed a new "Business Manager" tool, still in its refinements stage, aiming to help brands better push promotional content into users' timelines. Why is this big news? Well, imagine that you have been working with Preferred Marketing Developers and the services (tools) these agencies have been providing for you to manage your various Ad Campaigns on Facebook; with the Business Manager you can do it on your own.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg called President Obama to complain about the US government presenting a threat to the internet, claiming to be "confused and frustrated" by the recent spying and surveillance scandals. "When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security" Zuckerberg wrote, "we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."
Yesterday we mentioned that a technology consultant named Bas Bosschert had published code that would allow developers to build malicious apps that could trick WhatsApp users into giving the app access to the chat logs left on the device SD card. WhatsApp has been in the spotlight since Facebook purchased it for $19 billion recently.
Borrowing bits and pieces of technology from the automobile industry, Facebook hopes to construct a radical new second building in the city of Luleå, Sweden. This new structure proposes to be the hallmark of new-age production, using modular and lean construction principles. Facebook calls it Rapid Deployment Data Center Concept (RDDC).