Posts tagged Facebook

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for £9.5 Billion?

whatsappIt has been announced today that Facebook is in talks with the highly popular instant messaging app called WhatsApp. The price is currently set at a cool £9.5 billion however this does include some shares and employee stock payouts, which will essentially mean that the apps developer Jan Koum will be joining the Facebook board of directors.

The service is said to currently have in the region of 400+ Million active users and rumors where surfacing in the past months about WhatsApp possibly becoming subscription based. Google has also showed their interest in the platform for around £600 million, however this was dismissed by both companies.

WhatsApp is still one of the most popular messaging apps available on the app store and it is cross platform meaning it is available on both iOS, Android and Blackberry’s. This gives the app the distinct advantage of being more popular than apple’s iMessage, due to this cross platform compatibility.

The current talks are for WhatsApp to continue as it is at the moment and it will not be integrated or merged with the facebook platform however if this remains the case in the coming months is yet to be seen.

Mark Zuckerberg (the founder of Facebook) said

WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

WhatsApp is currently the 35th most popular app on the App store, facebook has also been quoted as saying WhatsApps messaging volume is approaching that of an entire telecom provider for SMS, at roughly 7 trillion messages a year.

This is the latest in a line of moves by Facebook to purchase lucrative social media companies as in April 2012 Facebook purchased the extremely popular photographic sharing app Instagram for around £600 Million.

The app was previously available from the app store for £0.69 however it is currently available to download for free!

Now you can book a restaurant table using Facebook

An article over on Mashable has got our attention this evening as there are rumors surfacing about a partnership between restaurant booking system giant OpenTable and Facebook.

FacebookOpentableThe idea is simple, restaurants are going to be able to add “book a table” buttons directly onto their Facebook pages from within the app, allowing customers to book quickly and simply using Facebook to register their contact details and any other information you would normally give over the phone, all you would need to do is select a time and a number of guests.

Facebook says

The integration is far more seamless than with OpenTable’s other partners, like Yelp and Google Maps, which require you to open a browser window to complete a booking. All reservations can be made without leaving the Facebook app. In fact, you don’t even need to register with OpenTable to make a reservation.

With my background working in hotels & restaurants I personally think that this is quite an exciting revolution for Facebook to actually be doing something useful with their pages rather than simply harvesting our data to provide targeted adverts, however its only a matter of time until Facebook starts targeting its adverts depending on what type of steak you had for dinner or which bottle of wine you ordered at the table.

For more information on the OpenTable integration with Facebook you can visit the OpenTable Social Media website.

Let us know what you think of this concept as always by leaving a comment below.

Facebook Home For Android

Facebook Chat Heads for Android

Facebook Chat Heads for Android

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook has today announced “Facebook Home” which is set to be a revolutionary new home screen for Android users. Facebook is trying to flip the user experience on its head saying that users will navigate their phone “through people, not apps”.

Zuckerberg hosted a Q&A Session after the announcement event at which the obvious question was asked, when will this be coming to iOS? the answer is in the short term its not, as apple has created a closed source operating system facebook is not able to replace the iOS home screen with its own, like it does on the open source android operating system. This means that the only way Facebook Home is coming to iOS is if apple works alongside facebook to make it happen, which personally i can’t see happening anytime soon.

[ad 1]The concept behind Facebook Home is that instead of seeing an application or an icon, facebook has designed the interface to focus on people, for example merging all emails and texts from the same person into one super complicated conversation.

Facebook claims users unlock their phone around 100 times per day, and for this reason they are redesigning the concept behind the lock screen on the Android phone to give users a slide show of photos and updates from their Facebook News Feeds.

Facebook Home also includes feature called ‘chat heads’, which keep’s any ongoing SMS and Facebook messages on top of every app on the phone for easy access. (see below)

Facebook Home is due to be launched on the 12th April however it will only be available on certain handsets, these are currently set to be the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II. For future updates and more information keep your eye on facebook’s announcement website

Facebook Chat Heads for Android

Facebook Chat Heads for Android

Free calls for Facebook users!

The latest facebook update has introduced the ability to make voice calls to other facebook users over WiFi and mobile data. Unfortunately for us users in the UK, this feature is currently only available in the US and Canada. This update follows the successful testing of the feature in the Facebook Messages app where voice calls have been active since January.

As with the Messanger app, voice calls can be made by tapping the friends name as if you where going to send a text message, and then clicking on their “info” tab, which will reveal an option to make a free voice call.

Both parties are required to have the latest version of the app and both users must be online at the time of making the call.

Personally I don’t think this is going to be a particularly useful feature as I barely use any of the 500 minutes i currently have attached to my phone contract as it is, so I cant really see myself gaining anything from using even less of them, to call a smaller number of people!

The official update text says it has introduced the following new features

-New button design makes it easy to like, comment and share posts in News Feed.
-Improved buttons to like, comment and share posts
-Share button to re-post stories from your News Feed now available in all languages
-Call friends for free right from Facebook (US and Canada)
-Free calling uses your existing data plan.

Facebook releases a completely re-written iOS App

Facebook have this evening released a completely re-written from the ground up app for iOS, after ditching HTML5 in favor for an objective-C programming language to enable the app to perform more like a native app on the iPhone rather than a website.

This was first rumored a few months back when we published our article about Facebook re-writing its application, and as far as i can tell it has been a huge success. Loading times are greatly reduced both when navigating around the app and more importantly when loading images. The basic layout of the app remains unchanged however some of the icons and buttons have been re-styled, in my opinion making the whole application look rather sleek.

In an interview Mick Johnson the Facebook for iOS manager said

The largest pain points — scrolling through the feed, photos and loading the app — will all be much faster, by a factor of three. Also, Facebook mobile developers working on the three separate iOS apps — Facebook, Camera and Messenger — all all now sharing a code base with each other, so Messenger and Camera are actually running inside of the proper Facebook app, bringing many of those features to Facebook for iOS. (As a bonus, a shared code base means faster development cycles, so we’ll probably see improvements sooner.)


The new Facebook app is now available as a free upgrade to both new and existing users from the App Store.

Facebook buys Instagram for £600 Million

instagramFacebook has officially announced today that they have purchased the extremely popular photographic app called Instagram for around £600 Million.

The purchase was announced on Mark Zuckerbergs own facebook page where he said

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

The Apple App store named Instagram the “App of the year” for 2011 and it is also the 19th most downloaded app of all time. The app is currently available to download for free on the app store.

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