March 31, 2014 |
When Mark Zuckerberg describes his company's $2-billion purchase of Oculus VR, makers of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, he sounds like a cross between a Zen master and a grandpa encouraging us whippersnappers to spend more time outside. “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life,” the Facebook founder and CEO said in a post about the Oculus acquisition last week. “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online but entire experiences and adventures.” Yet for Facebook and Oculus, “experiences and adventures” mean deepening our gaze into their network, immersing ourselves in a sensation that will one day be so indistinguishable from reality that developers describe it as “presence,” an effect unique to the new medium, as magical as “live” television must once have seemed.
March 25, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO - A tiny Irvine company founded by a 21-year-old Cal State Long Beach drop-out may play a leading role in Facebook's next major bet on the future of the Internet: that virtual reality will change the way people experience the Web. Facebook said Tuesday that it was buying Oculus VR, maker of virtual reality headsets for video game players, for $2 billion. The ultimate goal of the acquisition, the giant social network said, is to create an immersive 3-D experience in which users don't just chat online with friends but grab a cup of coffee with them in a virtual cafe or travel with them to distant places, just by putting on a pair of goggles with dark lenses.
March 8, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is bringing back F8, its conference for software developers in a bid to get them to create more and better mobile apps for the giant social network. The conference will be held April 30 in San Francisco, Ilya Sukhar, Parse chief executive and Facebook product manager, announced at SXSW on Saturday. F8 will return to its roots by focusing on technical content for mobile and Web developers, not on major announcements for Facebook users, Facebook said. The conference will feature hands-on workshops and technical sessions for about 1,500 developers to learn how to create, grow and make money from apps, the company said.
February 25, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is in talks with two gun control groups that are pressuring the giant social network to crack down on illegal gun sales and trades. "We are talking with a number of organizations around our policies on guns," a Facebook spokesman said. Facebook also noted that it's common for the company to engage with advocacy groups concerned about hate speech, bullying and other hot-button issues. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have stepped up their demands after recent gun arrests were tied to sales of guns facilitated through Facebook.
February 24, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- The hottest ticket at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: Mobile king Mark Zuckerberg. The Facebook chief executive, fresh off his empire-building move to buy popular mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion, took the stage at the largest mobile conference to talk up his vision for connecting billions more people. Top of mind for everyone there: The 450 million users who come with Zuckerberg's expensive acquisition of WhatsApp. Zuckerberg said Facebook bought WhatsApp because of a shared vision to connect the planet.
February 21, 2014 |
If you didn't think Facebook was overvalued before--and there were plenty of investors who had convinced themselves it wasn't--it's hard to avoid that conclusion now. The "tell" is Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp, a mobile messaging company with a reported 450 million worldwide users, for up to $19 billion in cash and Facebook stock. That's $4 billion in cash and about 175 million Facebook shares at today's closing price of $68.57 to make up the remaining $12 billion of the up-front deal; WhatsApp employees will get an additional $3 billion in restricted share units to cash in down the line.