When Facebook announced its intent to acquire cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp in February, questions surfaced on whether WhatsApp and Messenger would remain separate — which they have — or be combined. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed how the two apps coexist during the company’s third-quarter earnings call Tuesday.
Facebook Creative Labs
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.
It was reported last August by AllThingsD that Facebook was testing an application enabling celebrities or their page administrators to monitor mentions on Facebook via mobile and respond to fans. Nearly one year later, the social network announced the introduction of Facebook Mentions, the latest app from its Facebook Creative Labs initiative.
The second application from Facebook Creative Labs, Slingshot, was officially released Tuesday after a brief cameo last week, and what is being billed as the social network’s answer to Snapchat is available for iPhones running iOS 7 via the iTunes App Store, and for Android devices running Jelly Bean and KitKat via Google Play.
Facebook has made its focus on producing stand-alone applications more than clear in recent weeks, but two of its pre-Facebook Creative Labs efforts, Poke and Camera, are now history, as the social network has removed them from the iTunes App Store.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg divided the social network’s portfolio of applications into three stages during the company’s first-quarter earnings call Wednesday afternoon, putting the flagship Facebook apps in the most mature category; followed by established offerings Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp; and capped by the fruits of its new Facebook Creative Labs initiative, such as iPhone app Paper.
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.
Facebook continued its focus on groups with a revamp of its groups discovery page, including not only top suggestions, but also open and closed groups their friends are members of, as well as groups relevant to the locations listed on users’ profiles.
Facebook’s formation of Facebook Creative Labs, the initiative behind its newly announced Paper iPhone application, also brought with it a quiet, behind-the-scenes policy shift at the social network: Users’ real names will not be required to access the separate mobile apps that are being developed.