The “anonymous chatting application“ that The New York Times’ Bits blog initially reported on earlier this month is now a reality, as Facebook introduced the latest app from its Facebook Creative Labs initiative, Rooms, a throwback to the Internet’s early days and a nod to anonymity, forums, message boards and chat rooms.
Anyone following the ill-fated lawsuit filed against Facebook and its co-founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, by Paul Ceglia, who claimed to be the co-owner of the social network until the alleged contract his case was based on was deemed a fraud, had to wonder what Ceglia’s lawyers were thinking when they agreed to represent him, especially in light of the fact that several lawyers dropped the case at one time or another. Facebook apparently wondered the same thing, as the company filed suit against several of Ceglia’s lawyers, including those from DLA Piper, claiming that those lawyers and firms knew Ceglia’s claims were bogus but pursued the case in hopes of reaching a large settlement.
While Facebook has stuck with its policy of requiring its users’ real names, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in a January cover story for Bloomberg Businessweek that the social network would not require real names for the separate, stand-alone applications it was developing. Evidence of this policy shift may rear its head in the next few weeks, according to The New York Times’ Bits blog.
In February, Facebook Director of Engineering Jocelyn Goldfein said the social network was not scrapping its sputtering Home Android overlay, but a lot has apparently changed in four months, as The New York Times’ Bits blog reported that the team of engineers that had been working on Home has been disbanded.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke with Farhad Manjoo of The New York Times’ Bits blog about the Facebook Creative Labs initiative to create new mobile applications, the differences between Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and turning 30, among other things.
On the same day that Facebook released Paper, its new iPhone application, New York-based startup FiftyThree posted a statement on its website urging Facebook to change the app’s name, since it launched its own, well-established Paper app in March 2012.
Facebook received about 8,500 requests for user data from governments of countries in the European Union during the first six months of 2013, involving some 10,000 accounts, Richard Allan, the social network’s director for public policy in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said at a hearing organized by the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee, offering more details on the data released by the company in August.
Can the closeness of the mutual friends of both participants in a romantic relationship help determine the strength of that relationship? A study by Cornell University Computer Scientist Jon Kleinberg and Facebook Engineer Lars Backstrom sought to find out.
Twitter has company in the real-time news-related social media arena, as Facebook Monday announced the rollout of two application-programming interfaces aimed at allowing news organizations to tap into its public posts in real-time: the public feed API, which displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word; and the keyword insights API, which tallies the total number of posts that mention a specific term during a specific time period, as well as enabling news organization to feature anonymous, aggregated results based on gender, age, and location.