Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer © Facebook
When will the consumer version of the much-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset ship? With competition looming from Sony PlayStation’s Project Morpheus and the Vive headset announced by Valve and HTC a month ago, Oculus’ early lead in VR suddenly looks like it could be under threat.
After launching two prototype headsets for developers and an “innovator edition” of its Samsung Gear mobile VR device, executives at Facebook-owned Oculus have been tight-lipped about when consumers will be able to buy the PC-based Rift.
But at the F8 developer event in San Francisco, one Facebook executive’s lips were a somewhat looser. Read more
Oculus is closing in on the consumer release of its Rift virtual reality headset, accelerated by a huge hiring spree since its sale to Facebook in March.
It showed off its new ‘Crescent Bay’ prototype at the Oculus Connect developer conference in Los Angeles on Saturday. Read more
The news that Facebook manipulated its news feed to analyse the impact on users’ emotional expressions has angered many who believe they should have been told they were part of a psychology experiment.
The study of more than 689,000 Facebook users, conducted over a week in 2012, found those who were exposed to fewer positive stories in the feed were more likely to write negative posts and vice versa. People felt worried the billion plus social network was trying to manipulate their emotions, coming as it does after years of conflicts over privacy with the social network. Read more
Facebook has finally launched its latest answer to Snapchat, releasing Slingshot after Poke, its previous attempt at ephemeral messaging was withdrawn from the app store in May.
The world’s largest social network is trying to plug any hole in its dominance – it bought Instagram to shore up its place in photo-sharing, WhatsApp to expand its messaging and it attempted to buy Snapchat late last year.
When that project to buy the hottest new thing for teenagers failed, and its own usage amongst younger teens began to decline, it turned to its Creative Labs team to try to make its own at home. Read more
Facebook has unveiled a new feature which allows it to takeover a smartphone’s microphone to identify and track what songs a user is listening to and what TV programmes people are watching. Read more
In a handy coincidence of scheduling, Apple and Facebook will both report earnings after the market closes on Wednesday.
The two Silicon Valley giants will give Wall Street a fast look at the state of the mobile and online advertising markets, at a time when tech valuations are facing growing questions from investors like David Einhorn. Read more
The initial public offering of Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, has provoked a combination of downbeat hand wringing and gleeful hand rubbing about the effect of the global tech sell-off on new companies coming to market.
So are investors fair in how they’re pricing Weibo? The company’s shares were priced at $17 each, the bottom of the range, putting the group’s valuation at $3.8bn after raising more than double the amount it had hoped for earlier in the year. Read more
Twitter unveiled the first sign of its much awaited new design on Tuesday, to a near-universal reaction that it looked just like Facebook. Read more
Here are some figures to back up the mad race to monetise mobile by tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Read more
By Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw
Facebook unveiled the sleek, unfolding pages of its Paper app last month to appreciative oohs and aahs from reviewers, marking a new era for the social network as design becomes more central to companies up and down Silicon Valley.
Paper was developed with a small unit of designers who wanted to break away from the site’s basic ‘blue and white’ look to create an app inspired by the National Geographic magazine. Read more
Is $19bn a lot of money? It certainly sounds like it – that’s what Facebook thought WhatsApp was worth when it scooped up the messaging app on Wednesday.
The fate of social networks depends on being able to turn huge pools of users into a source of cash. So one way to assess whether Mark Zuckerberg got value for money is to look at how much he paid per WhatsApp user compared with the price of each person in other networks: Read more
Facebook is paying up to $19bn in cash, stock and earnouts to acquire WhatsApp Messenger, the world’s most popular mobile chat app with more than 450m regular users. Here Tim Bradshaw and Hannah Kuchler brought live reaction and comment from Facebook’s conference call.