Displaying items by tag: Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook announces plans to launch cryptocurrency in 2020
Social networking behemoth Facebook has formally announced that it would like to launch its own cryptocurrency next year according to reports by the BBC.
Facebook faces lawsuit over data leak scandal
A DC attorney general has announced that he will file a lawsuit against Facebook over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Attorney General Karl Racine said the social media giant had “failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them,” after the data of tens of millions of its users were leaked to third-parties.
The suit alleges the company violated the Consumer Protection Procedures Act through its lax privacy standards, and that it misrepresented third-party developers’ ability to obtain data. The office intends to seek civil penalties if proven in court.
After the scandal emerged in March, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress and answered questions from the Senate commerce and judiciary committees on privacy, data mining, regulations and Cambridge Analytica. The political consultancy had gathered names, “likes” and other data from more than 87 million Facebook users without their permission or knowledge.
Facebook was fined £500,000 by the UK's data protection watchdog for its role in the scandal.
“Facebook failed to protect the privacy of its users and deceived them” about who had access to their data and how it was used,” Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement. “Facebook put users at risk of manipulation by allowing companies like Cambridge Analytica and other third-party applications to collect personal data without users’ permission. Today’s lawsuit is about making Facebook live up to its promise to protect its users’ privacy.”
The lawsuit is the latest blow for the social media giant in recent weeks. A report in the New York Times revealed that Facebook had allowed ‘partner’ companies such as Netflix, Spotify and the Royal Bank of Canada the ability to read, write and delete users’ private messages.
On the stock exchange, Facebook had fallen by 7.3%, with Loup Venture founder Gene Munster advising against the buying of its stocks, quoting that the social media behemoth’s ‘best days are behind it’.
Facebook embroiled in new data sharing claims
Beleaguered social media behemoth Facebook has been subjected to further scrutiny over its data sharing policies following a report by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ has claimed that Facebook offered deeper access to user records in a series of customized data sharing deals.
According to the report in the New York-based publication the Silicon Valley based social networking firm struck agreements, known internally as whitelists with a small group of companies which allowed access to users’ data which included connections, phone numbers and a metric that measures the closeness of a user with other users in its network.
When quizzed about these agreements and whitelists by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook acknowledged the deals which included agreements with enterprises such as the Royal Bank of Canada and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan, among others.
It was further alleged that the access was offered to companies which advertise on the social network or were valuable for other reasons, the newspaper said. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that Facebook continued to offer such access for periods lasting weeks and months after declaring it had cut off access to third party developers in 2015.
Company officials told WSJ Facebook struck the deals to improve user experience, test new features and allow certain partners to wind down existing data sharing projects. The latest revelation is the latest in a string of publicly damaging setbacks for the company, which faced fierce criticism in recent months over its data sharing activities.
Last week, Facebook’s data sharing practices with 60 device makers, including China-headquartered vendors, was flagged by a US politician. The company is also attempting to deal with the fallout of revelations in March that it shared data of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. It was also announced last week that Instagram had overtaken Facebook amongst teenagers and young adults.
Facebook introduces video platform ‘Watch’ to rival streaming services
Facebook introduced a new platform for TV shows on August 9 called ‘Watch’. The platform will be available initially to a limited group in the United States on Facebook’s app, website, and television apps, the company said. Programming for the platform will range from professional women’s basketball to a safari show and parenting program.
“Watch is personalized to help you discover new shows, organized around what your friends and communities are watching,” Facebook said in a release. For example, users will find sections like ‘Most Talked About’ which highlights shows that spark conversation, and ‘What Friends Are Watching’ which will help users connect with friends about shows they are following.
“We’ve learned from Facebook Live that people’s comments and reactions to a video are often as much a part of the experience as the video itself,” Facebook said. “So when you watch a show, you can see comments and connect with friends and other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Facebook Group for the show.”
The social media giant added a video tab in 2016, and there were reports circulating recently that the company wanted to become a source of professionally produced content, as opposed to content uploaded by users.
Facebook had signed deals with millennial-focused news and entertainment creators Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others, Reuters reported in May, to produce shows for the video platform, both scripted and unscripted.
The company’s product director, Daniel Danker, said in a statement, “We’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos.”
“We hope Watch will be home to a wide range of shows -- from reality to comedy to live sports. Some will be made by professional creators, and others from regular people in our community,” Facebook chief executive and founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. “We're starting to roll out the Watch tab to a limited number of people in the US, and the plan is to bring it to more people soon.”
Zuckerberg added, “You'll be able to chat and connect with people during an episode, and join groups with people who like the same shows afterwards to build community.”
Content for ‘Watch’ would include a parenting show from Time Inc and a safari show from National Geographic, as well as videos from the Women’s National Basketball Association. Major League Baseball games are already being broadcast by Facebook, and the company said this will continue.
Facebook said it aims to make the platform open to any show creator as a place to distribute video. But the platform will face fierce competition in a crowded online streaming market, against the likes of Disney which recently announced plans to launch a streaming platform, as well as Netflix, YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat.
Facebook posts 71 percent increase in Q2 profit
Social network giant Facebook posted a 71 percent increase in Q2 profit and a 50 percent rise in mobile ad sales, extinguishing rumors that ad revenue growth had faded for the company as it runs out of ad display space. Facebook also announced a new milestone that there are now 2 billion people using the platform.
Facebook’s shares reached a record high on Thursday, July 27, after it posted positive results, adding more than $27 billion to its market value. The company’s shares increased 6 percent to $175 in early trading, adding gains worth twice the market capitalization of rival Twitter, Reuters said.
Facebook admitted that ad revenue growth is expected to slow down during 2017. Growth in ad sales did drop to 47 percent in Q2, after a 51 percent increase the previous quarter, but that didn’t seem to bother investors who are now looking ahead to new ad growth opportunities with Facebook’s other platforms including WhatsApp, Messenger and with video.
Moffett Nathanson Research analyst Michael Nathanson said, “The strength of Facebook’s mind-boggling results continued to be a testament of the platform’s massive user base and unparalleled targeting abilities.”
While Facebook reported a milestone 2 billion users, its other platforms Messenger and WhatsApp, have more than 1 billion users each. Every day, more than 175 million people share a Love reaction, and on average, over 800 million people like something on Facebook, the company claims. What’s more, over 250 million people use Instagram Stories every day, and more than 250 million people use WhatsApp Status every day.
“I'm proud of the progress our community is making, and it comes with a responsibility to make sure we have the most positive impact on the world that we can,” said Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in an online post. “That's why, last month, we updated Facebook's mission to focus not just on connecting the world, but also bringing the world closer together.”
Mobile advertizing was one of Facebook’s strongest revenue sources, accounting for 87 percent of the $9.16 billion in total ad revenue, as the average growth in ads increased 24 percent to a record high. Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju said advertisers will still buy Facebook ads space despite an increase in prices, due to Facebook’s superior return on investment compared with other digital platforms.
Facebook shares at record high following release of its financial results for Q2
Social networking colossus Facebook has seen its shares soar to a record high after it disclosed the financial results of its second quarter, which revealed that its mobile advertising business has grown by a staggering 50%. The results reaffirm the view that Facebook is now the venue of choice for an ever-increasing amount of online advertisers.
Facebook owns four of the most popular mobile services in the world, and it has seen it shares rise by more than 4% to $173 following after-trading on the Wall Street Stock Exchange. However, overall Facebook’s stock price has climbed to almost 44% this year.
Facebook has been adding more and more advertising into its Facebook News Feed, but that has become condensed, whilst it has also added adverts to its photo-sharing app Instagram, which has more than 700 million users. Facebook currently has over 2 billion users worldwide.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed that he plans to monetize its two messaging services Messenger and WhatsApp, which combined have more than 1 billion users each. Zuckerberg has expressed his desire to see the company move faster on this aim, but claimed he is confident they will get it right in the long-term.
Facebook also continues to accelerate its push into video, the social networking giant has identified this as an opportunity to win advertising spend from the TV industry, as more and more people spend their time consuming news and video content on its platform. Facebook is expected to launch a new video service that will include scripted shows, which is a sharp change of strategy from an organization which is founded on user-generated content.
Zuckerberg has previously stated that he firmly believes that video represents the future of Facebook’s business over the next 2-3 years. Facebook has officially confirmed that its total revenue rose form 44.8% to $9.32 billion in the second quarter of the year, which beat the average forecast of the $9.20 billion predicted by financial analysts. Facebook enjoyed incredible growth in mobile advertising, which has increased to nearly $8 billion.
Facebook Chief Financial Officer, David Wehner, expressed his delight at the financial results, and claimed that he expected to see Facebook continue to grow its mobile advertising capacity. He said: “In mobile we're continuing to see great strengths. We're seeing more and more ad dollars getting allocated to mobile, and we think that trend will continue."
Facebook aims to be ‘hostile environment’ for terrorists
Social media giant Facebook spoke out strongly against the June 3 terror attack in London over the weekend. That company vowed to “aggressively remove terrorist content” from its platform, reflecting British Prime Minister Theresa May’s call for internet companies to do more to thwart terror group online spaces.
Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook, said in a statement that the social network aims to “provide a service where people feel safe.” Milner added, “That means we do not allow groups of people that engage in terrorist activity, or posts that express support for terrorism. We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists.”
Facebook has come under recent scrutiny for having violent acts broadcast on its social network. The company has been accused of failing to block hate speech and terrorist propaganda content, and also the spread of ‘fake news’. In response, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he would hire up to 3,000 people to wipe out inappropriate content on the network.
“Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it,” said Facebook’s Milner. “We have long collaborated with policymakers civil society, and others in the tech industry, and we are committed to continuing this important work.”
Facebook CEO calls for a universal basic income
Founder and chief executive of social media giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has suggested there should be a universal basic income for all people. This would allow people in society to take more risks, he said, allowing people more freedom to execute new ideas and business ventures, with the confidence that they won’t go without basic things needed to live.
The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) has been regularly suggested by technologists and people working in Silicon Valley. UBI would allow for mote redistributive policies, and would be important when automation starts to take people’s jobs.
Zuckerberg made the UBI suggestion during a speech at Harvard University. He spoke of how a universal basic income would be part of a “new social contract for our generation.”
Some speculated that the Facebook founder is laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in the future. Zuckerberg has been on a tour around parts of the United States sharing his policy recommendations for improving society, but he has denied the rumors.
“We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful,” said Zuckerberg. “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.”
He continued, “We’re going to change jobs many times, so we need affordable child care to get to work and healthcare that aren’t tied to one company. We’re all going to make mistakes, so we need a society that focuses less on locking us up or stigmatizing us. And as technology keeps changing, we need to focus on continuous education throughout our lives.”
“And yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn’t free. People like me should pay for it,” said Zuckerberg. “Many of you will do well and you should too.”
Facebook’s profit more than doubled in final three months of 2016
Social media giant Facebook reported its financial earnings on February 1, which showed that its profit more than doubled in the final three months of 2016 as revenues continued to rise and its user base grew.
The company said it made a net profit of $3.7 billion on revenue of $8.6 billion in the fourth quarter, compared to profit of $1.6 billion on $5.6 billion in revenue in the same period the previous year. Facebook’s earnings pushed past many analyst forecasts.
Facebook reported that the number of people using its network increased 17 percent to 1.86 billion. The company saw an increase in the amount of people accessing Facebook from mobile devices each month, which grew to 1.74 billion, an increase of 21 percent from the same period the year before. Revenue from mobile ads on mobile devices accounted for 84 percent of Facebook’s overall advertising revenue in Q4 2016.
“Our community now has almost 1.9 billion people, including 1.2 billion people active every day. More than 65 million small businesses use Facebook to connect with their customers,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. “Our biggest focus continues to be putting video first across our family of apps. More than 150 million people now use Instagram Stories every day. We've launched our new camera in Messenger and have started rolling it out in Facebook as well.”
Zuckerberg continued, “We have a lot more work ahead as we continue building the community we all want -- one that is informed, supportive, safe, and a force for good in the world. Thank you for being a part of this journey to connect the world.”
Analyst Colin Sebastian from Baird research said in a note to investors that they believe concerns over user engagement and other social competitors are “likely overblown, as few companies share Facebook’s combination of scale, strong technology orientation, and platform breath/diversity.”
Facebook shares were up more than two percent to 136.31 in after-market trades that followed release of the quarterly earnings figures, according to AFP, which topped market expectations.
In a statement released with the earnings figures, Zuckerberg said “Our business did well in 2016, but we have a lot of work ahead to help bring people together. Our mission to connect the world is more important now than ever.”
Former Xiaomi executive tasked with leading Facebook’s VR business
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has chosen a prominent former executive of a leading Chinese smartphone maker to lead his virtual reality business.
Earlier this week, it was announced by Xiaomi that its global vice president Hugo Barra was resigning from his position after three-and-half years at the helm. His departure was seen as a huge blow for Xiaomi and the reasons cited for his resignation were due to health concerns and an exciting new challenge in Silicon Valley.
Now it has been officially disclosed that the exciting new venture in Silicon will be with Facebook. Barra will lead its virtual reality project, including the Oculus unit, and the announcement was made via a Facebook post by Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook’s founder has long discussed his passion and vision for virtual reality – and Zuckerberg has predicted it to be a very important part of the company’s future business –especially as technology become less expensive and its uses clearer.
Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014 was seen an indication that it believed it would be the next major computing platform.
In his statement, Zuckerberg said: “Hugo shares my belief that virtual and augmented reality will be the next major computing platform. They'll enable us to experience completely new things.”
Barra’s exit comes at a time when Xiaomi is trying to adjust its strategy. The company pulled back from several overseas markets, including Singapore and Brazil, in 2016. It is increasing its offline retail presence and aims to develop artificial intelligence and internet finance as growth areas.