social networks

HTC’s Facebook button is the Start of Something Big

HTC’s Facebook button is the Start of Something Big

Yesterday HTC announced two new phones the ChaCha and the Salsa. Each included a new and unique implementation with the social networking giant Facebook. As I listened to HTC CMO John Wang talk about how deeply they integrated the Facebook experience into these devices I became convinced they are on to something.

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HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa hands-on [Video]

HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa hands-on [Video]

Looks like we spoke too soon on the HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa; while the company first told us they only had a couple of devices at MWC 2011, locked up in a cabinet not even Mark Zuckerberg could penetrate, we later managed to grab some proper hands-on time with a pair of prototypes. Check out our hands-on impressions after the cut.

Video demo after the cut

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Mark Zuckerberg: “We’re going to see multiple Facebook devices this year”

Mark Zuckerberg: “We’re going to see multiple Facebook devices this year”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has been featured at the HTC MWC 2011 press event this morning, discussing the new HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa. Appearing in a video recording, Zuckerberg referred to the persistent - and much-denied - rumors of a single, Facebook-branded device, and why that's not the direction the social network has decided to take.

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HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa Facebook Phones debut

HTC ChaCha and HTC Salsa Facebook Phones debut

HTC has announced a pair of Facebook phones at MWC 2011, two affordable Android devices with a focus on social networking. The first of the pair is the HTC ChaCha, a physical QWERTY handset paired with a 2.6-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, followed by the HTC Salsa, an all-touch version with a 3.4-inch touchscreen. Both the ChaCha and Salsa have a dedicated Facebook button, hard-coded to instantly share content like photos, music links or Facebook Places location links.

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HTC Facebook phone with dedicated shortcut key at MWC tips source

HTC Facebook phone with dedicated shortcut key at MWC tips source

HTC is expected to join INQ in launching a Facebook phone at MWC 2011 next week, though the Android-based device will not be branded with the social network's name. Instead, according to the FT's sources, the HTC Facebook device will have a dedicated button that acts as a shortcut to the social network.

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Facebook Places Deals hits UK and Europe

Facebook Places Deals hits UK and Europe

Facebook has officially announced Places Deals for the UK and Europe, extending the location-based discount and loyalty scheme first rolled out in North America back in November 2010. Users of the social network will be able to check into businesses such as shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, and obtain coupons and discounts in the process.

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Facebook denies HTC phone rumors

Facebook denies HTC phone rumors

Facebook has denied reports that HTC is making a Facebook-branded smartphone, with a spokesperson suggesting "the rumors around there being something more to this HTC device are overblown." According to Dan Rose, Facebook's head of business development, the speculation is simply over-assumption based on "just another example of a manufacturer who has taken our public APIs and integrated them into their device in an interesting way."

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Pope Benedict Encourages Internet Togetherness, Sharing via Social Networks

Pope Benedict Encourages Internet Togetherness, Sharing via Social Networks

When you're at the head of an ancient religion still prevalent throughout the western world in an age where it's possible to grab information from across the planet in a moment's time, you've got to choose your words carefully. If you're the Pope of Catholicism, you've got to recognize that the bulk of the people that follow you are looking at your speeches that are published via the Internet. Thusly, you must speak in a way about this mode of information transfer in a way that's both critical and kind. I give you Pope Benedict on the Internet.

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Zynga Continues Domination by Transforming Area/Code into New York Studio

Zynga Continues Domination by Transforming Area/Code into New York Studio

That's right, they've assimilated game designers "Area/Code" and have begun to add their biological and technological distinctiveness to their own. This New York group will now become Zynga New York. Social gaming will now commence with a very ironic conglomerating of many design groups into one. Zynga also has offices in Boston, San Francisco, Beijing, Austin, Tokyo, Frankfurt, and Dallas. Each of these locations, other than San Francisco, were once smaller games companies that have now been swallowed by, (not dismantled, as other eviler companies might have done,) by Zynga.

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1.78m dead Facebook users in 2011 adding to profile clutter

1.78m dead Facebook users in 2011 adding to profile clutter

1.78m Facebook users are likely to die during 2011, though don't worry: the social network itself isn't killing people off. Instead, that's the user-churn predicted by Entrustet, a digital-legacy planning firm, which has bashed Facebook's user stats with death rates from the Center for Disease Control and decided that the site will be littered with profiles for ex-networkers by the end of the year.

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Facebook for Feature Phones launched with free data on certain carriers

Facebook for Feature Phones launched with free data on certain carriers

Facebook has announced a new mobile app, targeted at regular cellphone users rather than those with smartphones. Facebook for Feature Phones is a Java app, and will reportedly work on more than 2,500 devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and others, giving access to the homescreen, wall posts, photo galleries and even contacts synchronization.

The app has also been announced alongside a new deal with select carriers, which will - for a 90 day period - be offering free data access to Facebook for Feature Phones, as with Facebook Zero. Fourteen operators have signed up to the scheme, with more in the pipeline.

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Facebook, Privacy & a little Self-Control

Facebook, Privacy & a little Self-Control

Another Facebook change, another privacy uproar. Read the headlines and you might have thought the social network was planning to open the books on private cellphone numbers and home addresses to any advertiser willing to slip them some cash, rather than adding some more sharing options along with the usual granular control over who gets to see what of your digital details. Unsurprisingly Facebook froze its plans pending a reassessment of its privacy controls; unfortunately, nobody is taking Facebook users - and the online community in general - to task over taking some responsibility for what they share.

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