Facebook’s stepping into the world of virtual reality.
The company announced on Tuesday afternoon it has reached a deal to acquire Oculus VR, a company paving new roads in the field, for $2 billion. The deal is comprised of $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock.
Oculus VR’s flagship product is the virtual reality goggles known as the Oculus Rift, which was first funded through a massively successful Kickstarter campaign. It has already received more than 75,000 orders for development kits.
It appears that the billion-user club is about to get a new member.
Facebook announced the acquisition of messaging app WhatsApp on Wednesday, a deal worth up to $19 billion in cash and stock that puts serious muscle behind Facebook’s international reach.
In a call with investors to outline the acquisition, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum hinted multiple times that they expect WhatsApp to become a billion-user platform, a milestone that Facebook eclipsed less than 18 months ago.
“Facebook is so annoying.” How many times have you heard that sentiment this past year? We bet a lot, because more and more people seem to be getting tired of the social media platform, especially young people.
We’ve noticed a nationwide annoyance with Facebook over 2013. The company even admitted in October that younger teens were using the network less frequently on a daily basis.
Facebook is indeed rolling out autoplaying videos for ad units in your News Feed on both mobile and desktop, something the Wall Street Journal pegged for arrival just a little while before it was made official. The autoplaying ads follow Facebook’s trial of autoplaying non-ad video content on both the web and mobile.
The reasoning behind the decision is simple math in terms of returned value for advertising partners: Facebook claims that its autoplaying videos have seen engagement in terms of views, likes and shares on mobile and desktop increase over 10 percent versus the non autoplaying kind since it started testing them back in September.
Earlier this month, Facebook flat-out revealed in a slide deck obtained by Ad Age that its organic reach was waning, a fact which was used as a stepping off point for the sale of ads, which can drive greater brand visibility. And here it’s foregrounding the interaction metrics – there’s no doubt this is a sales pitch to advertisers, more so than a way to “continue to improve the quality of ads you see in News Feed,” as Facebook actually claims in the release.
Hirst made history in 2008, when he by-passed the art galleries to become the first living artist to sell an entire show directly through auction at Sotheby’s. The sale raised $198 million and his estimated net worth today of $350 million dwarfs that of American abstract expressionist painter and sculptor Jasper Johns and Welsh portrait painter Andrew Vicari, who tie for second place with net worth estimated at $210 million, each.American artists Jeff Koons and David Choe come in at fourth place on the Wealth X ranking with an estimated net worth of $100 million, each.
Choe was commissioned by Mark Zuckerberg to paint murals on the walls of Facebook’s office in 2007 and opted to be paid in Facebook stock rather than cash. This brought the graffiti artist a significant windfall when the company went public in 2012.
After Google announced on Friday that it will start putting people’s names and faces into online ads, some Google+ users decided not to take the news lying down. The few who use still use Google’s Facebook clone protested the move by switching their Google+ profile pictures to images of the company’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt.
The effect? Now, when strange personal endorsements show up across Google, it will be Schmidt’s face hawking a local bar or “Duck Dynasty,” not theirs.
Google’s new type of ads — in which restaurants ratings and long-forgotten YouTube comments can be repurposed with your name and Google+ profile picture — is similar to Facebook’s much-protected “Sponsored Stories.” There is a way to opt out of the program, but isn’t it more fun to dig up old pictures of Schmidt and go on a commenting spree?
“Who can look up your Timeline by name?” Anyone you haven’t blocked. Facebook is removing this privacy setting, notifying those who had hidden themselves that they’ll be searchable. It deleted the option from those who hadn’t used it in December, and is starting to push everyone to use privacy controls on each type of content they share. But there’s no one-click opt out of Facebook search.
To be fair, the “Who can look up your Timeline by name?” feature was likely misunderstood by lots of people. At first glance, you might assume it means that strangers can’t find your profile. But that’s incorrect. There have been lots of ways to navigate to your profile, like clicking your name on a photo you’re tagged in, finding your name in a friend’s friend list, or combing through Likes on a mutual friend’s News Feed post.
With the roll out of Graph Search, the avenues for sniffing out someone’s profile grew exponentially. Basically every piece of personal information (and soon the content you post about) could bring you up in a search. If you publicly list that you live in San Francisco, a Graph Search for “People who live in San Francisco” could lead someone to your profile.
A former Pennsylvania high school teacher who died Friday allegedly published on the Internet a detailed suicide note that described his job loss and desire to leave “this Vile, Despicable world.
“Christopher Swanson, 41, was found dead early Friday in front of a fountain on the Mercyhurst University Campus in Erie. He was a former science teacher in Smethport, a small town located about 100 miles southeast of Erie.
Erie County coroner Lyell Cook has deemed Swanson’s death a suicide, resulting from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. According to the Erie-Times News, the coroner’s office estimates the shooting occurred between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Friday.
President of Mercyhurst University Campus in Erie, were death occurred
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