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WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton: We’ll Bring Facebook ‘Another Billion Users’

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As soon as the ink dried on Facebook’s acquisition of messaging application WhatsApp, industry leaders questioned whether the social network overpaid with its $19 billion buy. So why did Facebook do it? WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton discussed how the company can help Facebook in the future at an event in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday night, hosted by Stanford University-spawned startup incubator StartX.

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VIDEO: Mark Zuckerberg Is No. 8 On ‘CNBC First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders’ List

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As part of its 25th-anniversary celebration, CNBC compiled the “CNBC First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders” list of the 25 people “who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes, and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.” A familiar name appeared at No. 8: Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

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Titan Aerospace: Targeted By Facebook, Acquired By Google

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Those may have been the drones Facebook was looking for, but they now belong to Google. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google will acquire Titan Aerospace, a near-orbital, solar-powered drone manufacturer that the social network was reportedly in talks to acquire last month, with an eye toward using its Solara 60 unmanned aerial vehicles to help provide Internet access to unserved parts of the world, starting with Africa, as part of the Internet.org initiative.

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Mark Zuckerberg Goes Into Detail On Facebook Connectivity Lab, Internet.org

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Perhaps Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is just a wee bit excited about the Connectivity Lab, the initiative aimed at using high-altitude long-endurance planes, satellites, and lasers to help connect the rest of the world to the Internet. Zuckerberg followed up Thursday’s announcement on the Internet.org site, as well as his own post on Facebook, with a lengthy post (embedded below) offering a more detailed look at Connectivity Lab.

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Facebook’s Connectivity Lab: Drones, Planes, Satellites, Lasers To Further Internet.org Mission Of Bringing Connectivity To The Whole World

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Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a drone from Facebook? The social network Thursday announced the formation of the Connectivity Lab, which is made up of experts who previously worked with U.K.-based Ascenta, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Ames Research Center, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

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Are We Certain Facebook Is Doomed, Vivek Wadhwa?

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Vivek Wadhwa, a research professor at Stanford University, published a diatribe on LinkedIn a few months ago titled, “Facebook Is Doomed.” Contributing to the debate on the medium- and long-term sustainability of one of the biggest social networks is undoubtedly a healthy endeavor. However, this excessive public statement distinguishes itself with rather frivolous arguments on Wadhwa’s part.

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