Facebook faces the future, and … the week in headsets

The future of newsletters is now! I mean … Monday! Do Not Read Until Monday.

 

Facebook faces its privacy problems – kind of

When Mark posts, the world listens – and this week the Facebook CEO detailed his vision for the future of not just Facebook, but social media as a whole. Of course, his empire encompasses many platforms and products, so he does have the power to steer the course.

via GIPHY

 

Most of Zuckerberg’s points ring true, and follow course with how the company has been moving in the wake of a disastrous 2018 full of privacy woes and a declining U.S. user base. After years of pushing people to connect and share their ever-lovin’ hearts out, the company’s planning an about-face to focus on smaller, often 1-to-1 connections.

So messaging will be its main focus going forward, with the company likely to draw heavily on WhatsApp. (That $19 billion doesn’t seem a high price now, does it?) Zuckerberg indicated Facebook will expand the encryption of the service to its other messaging products, and noted its groups and stories as privacy-focused and future-facing communications tools.

Ephemerality also featured in his post, with the idea that users don’t want old posts to come back to haunt them. The platform has 15+ years of content from some users, featuring themselves and, perhaps controversially, their children. With frequent smear campaigns focusing on obscure messages from decades past, the time is right to revisit this permanence. (And while they’re at it, I’m hoping they can remove all my vague-booking from ca. 2008-2009. Thank youuuu.)

How will Facebook remain profitable despite (assumedly) less content in feeds? Take a look at China’s WeChat for some ideas, says the NY Times.

The one bit seemingly shoehorned in is Mark’s touting of interoperability. While a nice concept, it’s not sold well as critical to privacy and the path forward. It would, however, help Facebook retain its grip on users and unite information it has on them. (Despite encryption, the platforms would still know things like who you message and when, etc.) Additionally, it could help safeguard from, say, presidential hopefuls who want to break it up – or at least make sure it’s complicated.

This wasn’t the only Good Guy Mark move this week either, as Facebook finally started talking tough about anti-vaccination content on the platform, pledging to deprecate such content. It also cracked down on fake accounts raising political tension in the UK.

It can’t all be sunshine and roses though, as we learned Facebook also wants to build a mind-reading machine. 🤦 But, say what you will about Zuckerberg, this is pretty cool, and he may be Batman.

 

The week’s full of headset hijinks

An alarming 😳 number of news items concerning headsets this week:

  • Details around the second version of Google Glass Enterprise edition have leaked. 2.0 will allegedly include connectivity and charging upgrades, as well as an improved camera.
  • At the same time, Oculus appears to be working toward its own enterprise headset solution, albeit VR rather than AR.
  • Just shy of a quarter-century after its Virtual Boy fiasco (only 90s kids will remember/feel old yet, take your pick), Nintendo has released its successor, a Google Cardboard-esque Labo kit for Switch.
  • And, it looks like Apple might come to market with its long-gestating headset, as reports suggest it may enter production late this year.

 

Odds + The End

via GIPHY

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