Facebook Overview Updated August 16, 2019

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December 2010 - August 2019


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 August 16

Facebook warned staff of 2018 hack risk, but not users, says court filing

A court filing says that Facebook warned staff of the risk that led to a huge security breach that last year allowed hackers to access almost 29 million accounts — but failed to warn its users…

Facebook Stories August 13

Facebook admits to reviewing Messenger app audio with ‘hundreds of contractors’

After Apple and Google have come under fire for using humans to review recordings of users captured by their voice assistants, a report today from Bloomberg highlights that Facebook was doing the same until roughly a week ago.

Facebook dark mode has been one of the most frequent requests from app users, with the company promising it earlier this year, and it seems it is now in testing.

As with many unannounced tests in social media apps, it was discovered by computer science student Jane Manchun Wong digging into the code. It was Wong who recently spotted a “snooze” feature in Twitter that allows users to temporarily silence notifications…

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Facebook Stories August 9

Class action lawsuit claims Facebook face recognition illegal in Illinois

A federal appeals court has given the go-ahead to a class action lawsuit that claims Facebook face recognition for photos is illegal in Illinois…

Facebook Stories August 7

Report: Instagram Direct to be rebuilt with Facebook’s Messenger tech

We first heard about Facebook merging the chat features between Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger back in January and we’ve seen the start of that work with the latest Facebook app refresh. Now a report from Bloomberg says that Instagram’s chat feature will be rebuilt with Facebook Messenger’s technology.

Facebook Stories August 6

A new report today from The Information details a change coming with iOS 13 that will force WhatsApp and others to redesign their messaging apps. The small but notable change has to do with how third-party apps use iOS to make internet voice calls with the PushKit VoIP API and also run in the background which will be restricted come this fall.

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