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Facebook kills app messaging in Europe to push standalone Messenger

Facebook is pushing its standalone app

Facebook has been warned it risks alienating users as it seeks to grow the reach of its Facebook Messenger app as a platform for communications, content and commerce. The company has decided to remove its mobile app’s messaging capabilities in some European markets so that users have to download Facebook Messenger instead.

Internet.org building drones to connect remote communities

Facebook has outlined plans to provide internet connectivity to unconnected communities using technology such as drone aircrafts

The Facebook-backed Internet.org initiative has revealed that it is building its first high altitude drone as part of a plan to provide connectivity to unconnected communities around the world, using satellite and free space optics.

Right before your eyes

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Social media darling Facebook this week had an eye on the future as it announced the acquisition of virtual reality technology provider Oculus for a hefty $2bn.  CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that the decision to acquire Oculus was made to place the firm in a commanding position for the future, as it expects immersive virtual [...]

Facebook to buy virtual reality firm Oculus for $2bn

Facebook is set to acquire immersive virtual reality technology provider Oculus VR

Facebook is set to acquire immersive virtual reality developer Oculus VR for around $2bn, as an investment for the future, when such technology is expected to become commonplace.

Facebook, GSMA to tackle connectivity in developing markets

The telecoms industry continued its courtship of internet services firms at Barcelona this week, where industry association the GSMA unveiled a joint initiative with Facebook.

Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19bn, promises to keep it ad free

Facebook is to acquire WhatsApp

In what some have billed the largest startup acquisition in web history, Facebook on Wednesday agreed to acquire cloud-based over the top mobile messaging firm WhatsApp for an eye watering $19bn.

The Ken Burns effect

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Facebook turned ten in early February and, like all ten year olds, it is prone to over sharing. The Informer has long lurked on Facebook, a silent voyeur struck by an often morbid curiosity to click on the banal and fatuous items in his newsfeed. And if your newsfeed looked anything like the Informer’s in early February, it was chock full of people sharing their ‘life story’—Facebook’s gift to the world after a ten-year social bender.

GSMA joins alliance to drive down internet access costs

The GSMA has announced that it has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet

Telecoms trade association the GSMA has announced that it has joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a coalition with 50 members, including Google, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft, committed to bringing down the cost of internet access in developing nations.

FACEBOOK FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO MARK ZUCKERBERG TO KEYNOTE AT MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS

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The GSMA today announced several new speakers in the keynote programme at the upcoming 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress, including the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. The GSMA outlined other new developments for Mobile World Congress, including keynote speakers in the mPowered Industries programme, new elements for the NFC Experience and new partners in Featured Programmes.

Tech firms seek government surveillance reform

Microsoft, Apple, Twitter and Google are among eight cloud firms calling for widespread reforms in US intelligence gathering techniques

Google, Microsoft and Facebook are among eight leading cloud and tech firms calling for sweeping reform in how US intelligence agencies gather data in bulk and restrict the ability of service providers to inform their customers on the extent and nature of government requests for such data, according to an open letter published by the group today.

Clown cars, gold mines and Happy Meals

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There’s plenty of stuff in this world the Informer doesn’t understand and how companies that make no money can rake it in from a stock market floatation is one of them. The Twitter founders buzzed the bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday and released 70 million shares to the frenzied masses. Despite opening at $26, the market closed at almost $45, with the company reflecting a market value of more than $31bn. The company’s valuation ahead of the IPO was closer to $17bn.

Facebook acquires Onavo to strengthen mobile ads play

Facebook says Onavo will boost mobile ad potential and reduce mobile data usage for those accessing Facebook via mobile devices

Social media giant Facebook has acquired Onavo, an Israeli-based startup that specialises in mobile data compression technologies, for an undisclosed sum. The company says the move will bolster its efforts to make the internet more efficient and affordable and strengthen its mobile ad platform.

Vendors team with Facebook to drive connectivity in developing world

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facebook-bigFacebook has created an initiative—Internet.org—to bring internet connectivity to the poor and underserved, recruiting a number of telecoms industry vendors as partners. But while the new group cites the importance of mobile operators in bringing connectivity to the unconnected, there are none among the founders.

Mobile delivers over 40% Facebook ad revenue

Mobile is a significant channel for Facebook

Mobile advertising delivered 41 per cent of Facebook’s total $1.6bn ad revenue for the second quarter of 2013, prompting CEO Mark Zuckerberg to say that the work done to make Facebook a mobile company is paying off.

Operator boards to blame for lack of innovation

Operator board members are less innovative than those at OTT players, claims European Leaders

The boards of the world’s ten largest operators are dominated by executives with legal, financial and engineering backgrounds, resulting in a conservative culture that “struggles to drive and nurture innovation”, according to recruitment consultancy European Leaders.

Yahoo continues buying spree with Qwiki purchase

Qwiki specialises in micro video

Yahoo continued its acquisition spree on Tuesday, jumping on the micro video bandwagon with the acquisition of Qwiki. The US startup has iPad and iPhone tools that turn a user’s photos and videos into short movie montages.

Can’t we all just get along?

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The Informer spent much of this week in sunny Amsterdam, basking in the glow of the world’s most advanced LTE networks, as early adopters and keen followers shot the breeze at LTE World Summit. What was interesting, was that the talk on the conference floor was all very heavy and technical, compared to the usual marketing gloss and business-case chat the Informer is used to hearing. Still, whereas the problems highlighted at those kind of gatherings are often identified as technical, the guys responsible for the technology were this time pointing the finger at commercial issues.

NSA accessing Google, Facebook and Apple user data

US National Security Agency (NSA) allegedly has direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US firms

It has been alleged by the Guardian newspaper that the US National Security Agency (NSA) has direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet players. The access is reportedly part of a broader programme, called PRISM, which allows the agency to collect search history, email contents, file transfers and live chats of internet users.

Tunisiana using Facebook to drive mobile data uptake

Tunisiana believes it has found a way to entice users in emerging markets into increasing their reliance on mobile data services

The Tunisian subsidiary of Qatari operator group Ooredoo, Tunisiana, believes it has found a way to entice users in emerging markets into increasing their reliance on mobile data services. The operator said it saw the popularity of social networking site Facebook on fixed line networks in the country, and devised a tariff to cater to mobile users.

Chipping away at the old block

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Don’t take this the wrong way but the Informer is sure some of the regular readers of AWIW are familiar with Peter Molyneux. As a youngster the Informer whiled away many hours himself on games such as Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Black & White and Fable, all of which were brainchildren of Molyneux.

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