WhatsApp, the insanely popular instant messaging service used by 190 million monthly active users, is about to get a splash of Facebook blue. The social media giant announced it is acquiring the cross-platform messaging service for $16 billion—more specifically, $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash, per the SEC filing. Facebook says the agreement also “provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.”
"DeepMind raises the possibility of allowing robots to self-train by observing humans or other robots and possibly do the job even better."
Gamers and developers are scrambling to fill the void left by Flappy Bird…
This “super slippery” coating will amaze you.
Also, it could eliminate roughly one million tons of food waste every year. We’re chatting live with the team of MIT scientists behind the stuff. Join us now.
“This is a big deal for us,” says Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley. “If anything, this [deal with Microsoft] will illustrate how companies can improve existing products with Foursquare data. It’s a starting point.”
Makers of the Paper app are asking Facebook to change the name of its new app… Paper.
EVERY STORY HAS A NAME
FiftyThree’s story began with Paper. What began with three guys building an app out of a New York City apartment has gone on to become one of the most celebrated applications on iOS, defining mobile creativity and winning Apple’s 2012 iPad App of the Year. Paper embodied our belief that technology should support the human need to create. It’s a beautifully simple app that lets anyone capture their ideas and share them over the web. For millions of creators around the world, Paper is where they call home for their ideas—100 million, in fact, over the last two years. Paper has come to represent endless creative potential, and we couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to our story.
Stories have twists.
So it came as a surprise when we learned on January 30th with everyone else that Facebook was announcing an app with the same name—Paper. Not only were we confused but so were our customers (twitter) and press (1,2,3,4). Was this the same Paper? Nope. Had FiftyThree been acquired? Definitely not. Then, what’s going on?
We reached out to Facebook about the confusion their app was creating, and they apologized for not contacting us sooner. But an earnest apology should come with a remedy.
Stories reveal character.
There’s a simple fix here. We think Facebook can apply the same degree of thought they put into the app into building a brand name of their own. An app about stories shouldn’t start with someone else’s story. Facebook should stop using our brand name.
On a personal level we have many ties to Facebook. Many friends, former students and colleagues are doing good work at Facebook. One of Facebook’s board members is an investor in FiftyThree. We’re a Facebook developer, and Paper supports sharing to Facebook where close to 500,000 original pages have been shared. Connections run deep.
What will Facebook’s story be? Will they be the corporate giant who bullies their developers? Or be agile, recognize a mistake, and fix it? Is it “Move fast and break things” or “Move fast and make things”?
We’re all storytellers. And we show care for each other by caring for our stories. Thanks for supporting us.
Co-Founder and CEO
"With complaints about Facebook’s news feed getting bogged down by ads and irrelevant content, the app stands as a stark contrast with its simplicity and full-screen ("distraction-free") layout."
"Millions of Americans pay outrageous fees to check cashers, payday lenders, and other predatory businesses—just for the right to use their own money," said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a press release. “Mobile Money shifts the balance of power for T-Mobile customers and keeps more money in their pockets.”
Pour one out for Facebook, which in a few short years may become a shell of its current, blue-bordered self. According to a new study out of Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Facebook will see a dramatic drop in usage rates before the end of the decade, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.
"It’s not until I sit down with The Weather Channel’s principal scientist, Bruce Rose, that I get a peek at something with truly transformative potential.
Forecast on Demand is a new technology that incorporates elements of nowcasting but is able to create a detailed forecast—at the request of a user—for more than 2 billion points around the globe. Rose demonstrates on a raw-looking website featuring a world map. As he clicks around various random locations, Forecast on Demand instantly generates real-time forecasts for that specific geographical point, using the freshest information available from its more than 75,000 data sources. This upends traditional forecasting, which relies on pregenerated predictions.
If it works as intended, the technology could represent a paradigm shift for prediction techniques.”
The Weather Channel is facing a major migration to mobile devices, which are fast replacing TV as the primary source of weather information. Over the past year, according to analytics firm Distimo, the total number of weather apps for iPhone and Android doubled to nearly 10,000.
Launching today in the iTunes App Store: Beats Music
Hoping to replicate its headphones success in the streaming market, Beats is positioning its service—which will take on the likes of Spotify, Google, Apple, and others—as the one that understands users’ emotions, offering the best of human curation and computer algorithm.
By now, we’re all familiar with the idea of wearable health trackers. But we’re used to seeing them on our wrists. If Google gets its way, the next batch of wearables may be worn in your eyes.
The company’s experimental wing, Google[x], announced on Thursday its plan to test a prototype of a smart contact lens that would monitor the sugar levels of diabetes patients, possibly alerting them when glucose levels become dangerously high or low.
An iStrategyLabs report found teenage users ages 13 to 17 have declined 25% within the last three years to 9.8 million in January 2014. Meanwhile, the 55-and-older subset have taken to the social network, with more than 28 million users in that demographic, an 80% growth over the same period.
Google has taken one giant step toward entering the fast-growing connected home space.