Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg dined with about 20 executives from wireless carriers Monday night in Barcelona, Spain, site of the 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress, Bloomberg reported, and the conversation at the private dinner may have been guarded, given the wireless industry’s concerns over the threat that the social network’s most recent acquisition, cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp, presents to their text-messaging services.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp Co-Founder and CEO Jan Koum both tried to quell concerns about the cross-platform mobile messaging application being overrun by ads following its acquisition by the social network Wednesday, during a conference call following the announcement of the deal.
After its unsuccessful bid for photo-messaging application Snapchat last November, reportedly valued at more than $3 billion, Facebook opened up the vaults and announced its acquisition of cross-platform mobile messaging company WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash and some $12 billion in Facebook shares, also announcing that WhatsApp Co-Founder and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors.
Facebook Tuesday began testing a completely revamped version of its Messenger for Android application that allows users to instantly see which friends are currently using Messenger, and to send text messages via the app to friends or non-Facebook-using contacts who aren’t using it.
Voice and messaging may be coming to more applications on Facebook and elsewhere on the mobile Web as cloud communications provider Twilio announced at its third annual TwilioCon in San Francisco that it updated its Cloud Code Module for Facebook-owned cloud-app platform Parse with an eye toward enabling developers to move in that direction.
Facebook’s white hat program dished out another reward, as U.K.-based application security engineer Jack Whitton received $20,000 for alerting the social network about a bug that allowed him to take over other users’ Facebook accounts via text message.
While the Facebook applications for iOS and Android are updated with regularity, BlackBerry doesn’t get the same love. The company announced Thursday that the Facebook and Twitter apps for the BlackBerry 10 phone were updated. Now the Facebook app has the technology to let you know if friends are nearby, as well as better photo and event features.
Facebook has been trying to bring new features into its stand-alone Messenger application, first with voice-over-Internet-protocol calling, but now it appears that the social network is trying to replicate another vital cell-phone function: texting. Some users with the Android version of Facebook Messenger were prompted Tuesday to import their text messages, with the ability to send and receive SMS messages added to the app.
When Facebook announced plans to go public, two of the most prominent concerns raised about the social network were its ability to monetize mobile and its prospects for growth in Asia. The deal it reached with Myriad Group, announced Wednesday, took aim at both of those concerns.