Facebook Overview Updated January 9, 2020


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December 2010 - January 2020

Facebook is the most popular social media service in the world with 2.32 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2018. It also averages 1.52 billion daily active users as of December 2018.

Facebook was launched in February of 2004 (as The Facebook) for college students and then rapidly grew as it opened the service to more than those with a .edu email address. It was the subject of the 2010 movie called “The Social Network“.

In 2012, the social media giant offered its IPO and Facebook earned the title of the fastest company to grow to $250 billion market capitalization in the S&P 500.

In recent years, the company has been at the center of attention related to its role in the Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Since then, it’s been a continual stream of negative news for the company. They recently had all of their enterprise certificates for iOS revoked after it was discovered they had repackaged Onavo VPN as a ‘Research’ app and were paying teens $20/month to sneakily sideload it.

In early 2019, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a “privacy shift” for the company. He outlined a detailed vision for the future of the social media platform, specifically its messaging services. Notably, in contrast to how the company operates today, he says the future of the platform will be privacy-focused with features like end-to-end encryption, interoperability between its various apps like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, reducing how long it holds data, secure storage of personal data, and more.

Facebook Stories January 9

Facebook’s redesigned web interface with dark mode support rolling out before spring

Almost a year ago, Facebook teased a redesigned version of its web interface with a lighter design, navigation changes, and more. At the time, Facebook didn’t offer details on when “The New Facebook” would be available to everyone, but now the company says to expect the rollout by the start of spring.

After banning deepfakes, Facebook confirms politicians can still lie in ads

Just a couple of days after banning deepfake videos, Facebook has confirmed that politicians can still lie in ads bought on the platform…

Facebook Stories January 7

In a move designed to counter misinformation during the 2020 presidential election campaign, Facebook bans deepfakes: extremely convincing fake videos created using AI techniques.

Deepfakes use machine learning to analyze the way someone’s face moves as they voice different sounds. AI can then create fake video that mimics the movements needed for any word. This can then be combined with either chopped-up sound clips of the real person, or an impressionist, to create entire fake speeches that are hard to tell from real video footage…

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Facebook Stories December 27, 2019

You can no longer sign up for Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account

For Facebook refuseniks who still want the ability to chat with Facebook users, you used to be able to sign up for Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account. That’s no longer the case…

Facebook Stories December 20, 2019

267 million Facebook user names and phone numbers exposed online

More than 267 million Facebook user names and phone numbers have been exposed in a database sitting on the web without any password protection…

Facebook Stories December 18, 2019

It was reported last year that Facebook accesses your location even when you have switched off Location Services for the app, and the company has now confirmed this in a letter to two senators.

The company says that it uses three different methods to track user locations, only one of which needs Location Services…

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