Facebook and WhatsApp are currently testing two separate new updates, that will look to make both platforms a safer space for people to network, while the latter focuses more on its video-sharing quality.
WhatsApp Messenger, a subsidiary of Facebook since 2014, is developing a new feature allowing users to control the quality of videos sent to each other. The future update for WhatsApp video was spotted by WABetainfo, a website that tracks all the new updates in the beta version of the instant messaging application.
A pop-up message will ask users to choose one of three quality options: Auto, Best Quality and Data Saver.
“Auto mode” will use compression as is the current case for WhatsApp video.
“Best Quality” mode will enable users to share the video as per the resolution stored within the device. While quality will be much better, users will notice longer periods of uploads compared to Auto Mode, especially for mobile devices running on slow internet speed.
The “data saver” mode will send the video in the most compressed version, compared to the other two options.
This new feature is still under development and is currently not functional.
On the Facebook front, the company is developing a new feature that aims to combat violent extremism. The update – which is currently in its trial phase in the U.S. — will warn users against “extremists’ content” they might have been exposed to.
Matt Navarra, a social media consultant, leaked screenshots on Twitter in which a notice asked, “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” Another alert was “you may have been exposed to harmful extremist content recently.” Both included links to “get support.”
The feature that was spotted by users was followed by a clear statement by Facebook Spokesperson Andy Stone noting that “any violence or hate related search term gets redirected towards resources, education, and outreach groups that can help.”
“This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk,” he added.
The company is currently partnering with various NGOs and academic experts to help create a safer space using this update.
Facebook the trillion dollar company, highlighted that it is aiming to identify both users who may have been exposed to rule-breaking extremist content and users who had previously been the subject of Facebook’s enforcement.
The Big Tech company has long been under pressure from policymakers and civil rights groups to fight radicalism on its platforms, especially after the January 6 Capitol riot in the U.S.
The world’s largest social media network said the efforts were part of its commitment to the “Christchurch Call to Action,” a campaign involving major tech platforms to counter violent extremist content online that was launched following a 2019 attack in New Zealand that was live streamed on Facebook.
What to expect from Facebook’s smart glasses
During Facebook’s recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the company’s next hardware release will debut the tech giant’s collaboration with Ray-Ban eyewear on a pair of augmented reality glasses.
The long-awaited Ray-Ban “smart glasses” were supposed to launch in 2021. However, as a steep plunge in COVID-19 cases forced most of the world into a lockdown, a lot of tech firm’s plans changed.
“Looking ahead here, the next product release will be the launch of our first smart glasses from Ray-Ban in partnership with EssilorLuxottica,” Facebook head and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “The glasses have their iconic form factor, and they let you do some pretty neat things.”
The “neat things” Zuckerberg is talking about remains a mystery. However, the smart glasses concept came up while Zuckerberg was describing his outlook on Facebook’s future, which includes a virtual reality unlike no other.
“I’m excited to get these into people’s hands and to continue to make progress on the journey towards full augmented reality glasses in the future,” Zuckerberg expressed.
Considering Zuckerberg’s comments on the release didn’t satisfy tech fan’s curiosity, CNET spoke with Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s head of AR/VR hardware, who explained that they’re indeed smart glasses, but not AR glasses as Facebook has said so far.
“We’re being careful not to call them augmented reality glasses. When you’re overlaying digital artifacts onto the world, that’s really augmented reality. These aren’t augmented reality glasses. However, they do a lot of the concepts we think will eventually be critical for augmented reality glasses,” Bosworth said.
The features of the smart glasses aren’t all unique. However, as much as it’s ironic to state, Bosworth made it clear that one of the things Facebook is looking at for all their AR, starting with the smart glasses, is how can they help users be more present.
This isn’t the first attempt a major tech company produces smart glasses, as Google did quite a stir back in 2014 following the release of “Google Glass,” which was a bold move, but failed nonetheless.
The idea seemed exciting, but eventually transformed into an online meme. Besides, many weren’t keen with the idea of having a tech tool constantly emitting radiations at face level.
The road to actual AR glasses could take more time than anticipated, while other tech giants hunt after similar goals.
The Ray-Ban glasses coming this year will be a steppingstone into Zuckerberg’s “metaverse” vision for Facebook, but they likely won’t do as much as we’d like to believe.
Facebook profits top $10B as its CEO exalts the ‘metaverse’
Concerns about a revenue growth slowdown pushed Facebook’s shares lower in after-hours trading Wednesday, not long after the company reported that its second-quarter profits doubled thanks to a massive increase in advertising revenue.
But CEO Mark Zuckerberg set his sights far beyond the second half of 2021, exalting what he sees as the next phase of how people experience the internet. What the rest of the world might know as augmented and virtual reality with a dash of science fiction, Zuckerberg and others are calling “the metaverse,” a futuristic and somewhat vague notion that encompasses AR, VR and new, yet-to-be-imagined ways of connecting to one another via technology.
Zuckerberg expects the metaverse to be the next big thing after the mobile internet, although he’s had a spotty track record when it comes to predicting major trends of the near future. At Facebook’s f8 conference four years ago, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted a future where you will sit in your bedroom wearing a headset and take a virtual vacation with faraway friends and family, or use your smartphone’s camera to virtually spruce up your dinky apartment.
So far, this has not materialized. Then there’s Libra — now known as Diem — a cryptocurrency project Facebook launched in 2019 amid great fanfare. At the time, Facebook envisioned Libra as an emerging global digital currency; its ambitions have since been scaled back considerably amid regulatory and commercial backlash.
In a conference call with analysts, Zuckerberg called the metaverse the “next generation of the internet and next chapter for us as a company,” one that he said will create “entirely new experiences and economic opportunities.”
For now, though, Facebook still has to contend with more mundane matters such as antitrust crackdowns in the U.S. and elsewhere as well as concerns about how it handles vaccine-related and political misinformation on its platform. The company said, as it has before, that it expects challenges in its ability to target ads this year — including regulatory pressure and Apple’s privacy changes that make it harder for companies like Facebook to track people who can opt out of that form of surveillance.
Although the social network doubled its profit in the second quarter, in part because of higher average prices it charged for the ads it delivers to its nearly 3 billion users. But the company said it doesn’t expect revenue to continue to grow at such a breakneck pace in the second half of the year.
“This quarter’s results are extremely strong and show little sign of impact from Apple’s iOS update as of yet,” said eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson, noting that in the year-ago quarter Facebook saw its slowest revenue growth since going public, so it was an easy comparison. “But it’s also due to the fact that there is enormous demand for Facebook and Instagram advertising, and more competition leads to higher ad prices.”
Separately, Facebook said on Wednesday that it will make vaccines mandatory for employees in the U.S. who work in offices. Exceptions will be made for medical and other reasons. Google announced a similar policy earlier in the day.
The Menlo Park, California-based company earned $10.39 billion, or $3.61 per share, in the April-June period. That’s up from $5.18 billion, or $1.80 per share, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 56% to $28.58 billion from $18.32 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $3.04 per share and revenue of $24.85 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.
Advertising revenue growth was driven by a 47% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 6% increase in the number of ads shown to people. Facebook said it expects ad prices, not the amount of ads it delivers, to continue to drive growth.
The company predicted uncertainty for 2021 back in January, saying its revenue in the latter half of the year could face significant pressure. Because revenue grew so quickly in the second half of 2020, Facebook said at the time that it could have trouble keeping up that pace.
Williamson said the third quarter will be an important one for the company, “as the full effects of the Apple update take hold.”
“We will have a much better sense of how well Facebook has been able to adjust its core ad targeting products to manage the reduced amount of information it can tap into,” she said.
Facebook had 2.9 billion monthly users as of June, up 7% from a year earlier.
Shares fell $11.77, or 3.2%, to $373.28 in after-hours trading. Earlier in the day, the stock hit an all-time high of $377. 55 in anticipation of the results, so the decline wasn’t unexpected.
This request is not new, as the Big Tech revealed earlier in May that developers must declare their safety information within a deadline between October and April.
However, Google decided this week to provide more details on the kind of data developers need to provide for the new mandatory policy.
The app policies will allow users to view safety and privacy guidelines before downloading the app, which will let them understand how their data is collected, protected, and used in advance.
The safety section on the Play Store will require app developers to disclose their security practices, including information on data encryption, whether an app follows Google’s families policy, and whether users will have a choice to share data.
The safety section is currently due to start appearing in app descriptions in the first quarter of 2022.
Google in a blog post disclosed screenshots of what the safety section might look like. Yet, the company said that the design is subject to change.
There’s also a “see details” option to get more specifics on what collected data is used for, and whether the collection is essential for using the app.
BT, Microsoft partner to enhance voice calling
What to expect from Facebook’s smart glasses
Canada raises $7.15 billion in auction of 3.5 GHz band for 5G service
Didi pushes back on IPO rumors
NEOM: A $500 Billion smart-city to be built in Saudi Arabia
5 Reasons Why… Telecoms is Important in Society
Advantages and drawbacks of Voice Recognition Technology
Telecom Sales Strategies that will Bring You Success in 2020
Steve Lacoff, General Manager of Avalara Communications
Yashu Kapila, CEO of BugRaptors
Vic Bozzo, Chief Revenue Officer of SONOC
Raghid Charara, Vice President and Khaled Chatila, VP of Business Development at ANALITICO
- Community4 weeks ago
Amazon, TikTok look to bolster online child safety measures
- Press Releases2 weeks ago
Monty Mobile offers Safe Surf to preserve digital safety
- Technology3 weeks ago
The subtle rise of a China, U.S. tech cold war
- Views from the Inside4 weeks ago
The New Role of the Telco CIO as a Driver of Composable Business
- Technology4 weeks ago
New Instagram update looks to heavily lean into video
- Technology4 weeks ago
Everything you need to know about iOS 15
- Views from the Inside1 week ago
It’s time for telcos to step up as drivers of industrial 5G
- Cybersecurity3 weeks ago
Ransomware Attacks count rises with Comparis.ch Breach