Facebook’s person-tracking camera-display system Portal is getting an update so that users can avoid Facebook. That’s right – the Facebook-made Portal, Portal Mini, Portal+ and Portal TV device collection can now be used without a Facebook account. Users can utilize “WhatsApp login” to work with video calls and features like Story Time. Let’s talk about why Facebook would allow this to happen.
As Dice writer and former SlashGear writer Nate Swanner suggested, it seemed pretty clear that Alexa was one of Facebook Portal’s first Trojan Horses into consumer homes. Facebook wants to get into your home, one way or the other – they don’t want to be beaten by Amazon, Google, and Apple with their respective smart listening devices. They want to see you use their devices instead!
The Facebook Portal family will soon allow users to log in using their WhatsApp account. They will not need a Facebook account at all to log in and use SOME of their Portal device’s features. But not all – certainly not the newest, coolest features, anyway.
There’s a Facebook-account-only feature called Watch Together on Portal devices. This feature will be delivered to Portal Mini, Portal, and Portal+ in the near future. This feature allows users to watch “original programming” a the same time as a friend (assuming that friend also has a Facebook Portal device. This is just one of a collection of features you’ll see on Facebook Portal as a WhatsApp user, encouraging you to sign in with your Facebook account.
Portal TV works with a variety of streaming content partners, at the same time as it’s able, once activated, to see and hear everyone within range in your home. Portal TV’s latest update includes Amazon Prime Video (US, UK, Canada, France), Sling TV, Deezer, and FandangoNOW. You’ll need a Facebook account to use the full functionality of a Portal TV, regardless of the new WhatsApp login system.
WhatsApp is Facebook
Portal is a Facebook device. All Portal devices are made by Facebook. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. If you do not trust Facebook, you should stop using WhatsApp right now. If you do not trust Facebook, I’d like to speak with you in an effort to better understand the chain of logic that brought you to a purchase of a Facebook Portal
Facebook is bad at Privacy
The litany of Facebook privacy violations revealed over the past several years suggest that Facebook is not only bad at privacy, they’re willingly bad at privacy. If you’d like to find a quick run-down of reasons why it’s time to leave Facebook, take a peek at our feature You can leave Facebook now, and you should.
If you’d like to know just the bare minimum about what Mark Zuckerberg knows about your personal life already, see the data discovery tool we investigated back in July. You might not like what you see.