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.
The New York Times
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.
Facebook and several other tech companies in Silicon Valley provide shuttle buses to transport their employees, and according to The New York Times, if the 40 drivers from Facebook’s contractor, Loop Transportation, have their way, the social network’s buses will soon be driven by Teamsters.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? The Twilight film series may be a wrap, but studio Lionsgate and creator Stephenie Meyer announced that five short films based on Twilight characters, helmed by aspiring female directors, will debut next year, exclusively on Facebook, The New York Times reported.
Most companies respond to criticism in the press with statements by executives or spokespeople, but Facebook answered a column in The New York Times by Evgeny Morozov panning its Internet.org initiative to connect the rest of the world to the Internet with comments by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Stanford University School of Medicine Prof. Michele Barry and United Nations Under-Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.
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 has launched several initiatives aimed at boosting media companies’ presence on the social network thus far in 2014 — Public Content Solutions, aimed at providing its partners with dedicated technical and business resources to build out media solutions on Facebook and Instagram; FB Newswire, a project with social content discovery outfit Storyful to aggregate publicly shared content on Facebook, by media organizations and individual users, to aid journalists in their reporting; and the four new media-centric application-programming interfaces it announced at its F8 global developer conference in San Francisco last month — but the media industry took a shot across the bow in the form of a long rant posted on the social network by Director of Product Management for Ads and Pages Mike Hudack.
April was not kind to BuzzFeed, as the content aggregator saw its total number of Facebook interactions (likes, comments, and shares) slip to just over 39 million from nearly 47.5 million in March, and it accounted for just five of April’s 20 biggest Facebook stories after logging 12 in the previous month, but BuzzFeed still topped publishers in terms of shares for April, according to social media news aggregator NewsWhip.