Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has announced its plans to buy fast-growing messaging service Whatsapp in a $19 billion deal in cash and stock. This is an unprecedented purchase as the deal one can consider closest to this was done by Microsoft when they bought Skype at a price of $8.5. Incidentally, Facebook also took over Instagram at only $1 billion last year, while Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten bought Viber at a modest $ 900 million. So, why would Facebook buy Whatsapp, and at this price? Industry insiders and M&A experts say that Facebook acquisition of Whatsapp–even Instagram–suggests their inability to develop such good apps. This deal is more than the amount Facebook raised in its own IPO and has left investors worrisome. Many recent news reports and jokes floating in cyberspace suggest that Facebook was turning into a network for the ageing. Its population of active teenage users was fast depleting. [+more]
Its success with Windows Phone 8 notwithstanding, Nokia’s busy adding to its lineup of low-cost mobile phones. The newest entrant in this range is the Asha 210 which comes with an exclusive key for WhatsApp for the Asian and African markets, and a Facebook button for the European and Latin American markets. The phone comes in many colorful options including yellow, blue, magenta, white and black and has 2 SIM card slots. The Asha 210 has a QWERTY keypad design, similar to the Asha 308 and 309 launched last year. Priced at $72 for Asia and Africa, owners get free lifetime access to WhatsApp, offering a promising time for the app as well. The Asha 210 for Europe and Latin America comes with a price tag of $40 with a dedicated Facebook button. In addition, there’s YouTube, Twitter and Facebook preloaded into the phone. The phone has a 2.4-inch LCD [+more]
Finally, we got a peek into HTC’s Facebook phone, called the First, and so far, we have to say, we like what we saw. First off, it’s got a typical HTC design – minimalistic, nothing that shouts out for attention. The phone isn’t exactly a powerhouse – it’s got a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 1280X720 pixels and reminds us of the first iPhone. It’s powered by a decent dual-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor and 1 GB of RAM. There’s 16 GB of internal storage, but no microSD card slot and a 2,000 mAh battery. The camera turned to be a bit of a disappointment with a resolution of just 5 MP. For a Facebook phone, focused so much on social networking, we would’ve loved at least an 8 MP offering. As for the front-facing camera, there’s a 1.6 MP one for your video calls. The device runs on [+more]
It’s been a while since we heard about how Facebook was busy working on bringing out a whole smartphone of its own. Given how most of the activity on this popular social network comes via mobile devices, it’s not surprising that Mark Zuckerberg’s creation has decided to take the plunge into the technology space directly. But in a world where Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile OS’s reign supreme and a bunch of others like BlackBerry and Windows Phone fight hard to occupy a distant third place, do we really need yet another smartphone that stands out so much? And as addicted as we are to Facebook, do we really need a completely dedicated Facebook smartphone? Or is an Android or iOS Facebook app more than adequate? Facebook is trying to expand beyond being just a social network that keeps you connected with your friends. With its active push for [+more]
Like we said before, March 7th was the date when Facebook got a major makeover, and from the first look, we’re quite impressed! A redesigned NewsFeed that focuses more on the images and gives more power to the users for customization should not just keep the users happy, but could also spell good news for the advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg wanted Facebook’s NewsFeed to offer a better story design, more choices and consistent experience on mobile devices as well as PC browsers, and looks like this will get him there. In Zuckerberg’s words, Facebook’s trying to give its users “the best personalized newspaper” possible, which is “intricate, rich and engaging”. Users now get larger images displayed on their NewsFeeds, in addition to larger maps, news articles, app information, etc. Users can also choose to sort their feeds in a chronological order or be more selective in getting updates about the different [+more]
While many of us have become wary of sharing excessive personal information on social network Facebook, an exhaustive seven-year study by researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University suggests that users are unwittingly sharing more personal information online than ever. Each time Facebook made changes to its user interface or settings, people shared more private information. This information was available to friends and the “silent listeners”. Silent listeners, according to the report, are Facebook, third-party app developers and advertisers. The Carnegie Mellon report gathered data from about 5000 Facebook users in the university network to understand the development of privacy and disclosure from 2005 till 2011. The number of fields one could fill in on Facebook went up three times during this time. While the information users shared went down from 2005 to 2009, there was an upsurge of information in 2009 when Facebook changed how people could navigate the settings [+more]
Firefox and Twitter-sounds like a deadly combination, isn’t it? Well, we have sources that reveal Twitter would be available for the fiery operating system as soon as devices backed by this OS ships. The tweet app on this OS would not be starkly different from conventional mobile applications. The tabs such as Me, Connect and Home would still be in place. However, Web Activities would just be a cherry on the cake for this app. Snap-sharing would become breeze with this for sure. Mozilla has already partners in Facebook Cut the Rope, EA Games and Twitter is yet another feather in its cap. We hope that this collaboration proves fruitful for Mozilla since it has a long race ahead in the market where Android and iOS rule.
Washington: Microsoft confirmed on Saturday that they were hit by a hacker’s attack. The company said that the hacking was similar to the attack on social networking company Facebook. Microsoft announced this on their company blog. However, they said there was no evidence that customer data had been compromised. Microsoft also said that they were investigating how malicious software was planted on a ‘small number’ of its computers. Facebook had also acknowledged that other companies were also hacked. However, they didn’t name these companies.
In a first, Facebook doubled its revenue from mobile devices in the fourth quarter. However, the company estimated unreasonably high revenues from its mobile users, which resulted in the stock of the social networking giant taking a 3% dip in Wednesday after trading hours. Revenues for the company grow the fastest in this quarter since the IPO of the company was launched. The company’s revenue rose 40%. While the company with a 1 billion user base is still struggling to improve stock performance, mobile ad revenues could well be their way out of the lurch.
While some bigwigs of the technology world engage in constant legal fights and bickering, giants such as Facebook, Google, Zynga and five others have asked the court to eliminate abstract patents. The appeal came into motion when a CLS Bank sued Alice Corp for infringing four patents covering a computerized method of having a third-party hold funds in escrow on behalf of two other contracting parties. Dell, Intuit, Homeaway, Rackspace and Redhat also joined the league and countered the CLS Bank move. They called phrases such as “on a computer” or “over the Internet“ unworthy of being called patents. As per the appeal made by these giants, such patents hamper innovation. The brief given by these companies to the court has concluded that such patents are harmful for growth of the technology sector. It further stated, “It is easy to think of abstract ideas about what a computer or website [+more]