Thursday, October 21, 2021

Mark Zuckerberg steps down – five things we learned about Facebook

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Shara Tibken, Ryan Mac, Shiv Malik and Lauren Duckett examine the major issues that could influence election outcomes in the United States

Facebook’s elusive “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities” page offers the size of a briefcase of legal documents and puts all companies in the US on a slightly more powerful footing when it comes to antitrust practices.

For the first time, companies are required to spell out exactly how they use data that they gather from their users.

Facebook has transformed from a quirky university social network into one of the world’s largest corporations. The company tracks the lives of millions of Americans every month – and more than 1 billion each month worldwide.

With a burgeoning stock market and over a billion users of its core product, Facebook is on its way to becoming one of the biggest companies in the world. How did it get there?

Facebook ‘Dustoff’ centres on the archives of 20,000 former aides

The digital archive that Mark Zuckerberg dreamed up to preserve the evolution of Facebook’s earliest years and whose beginnings took place in a warehouse in the Silicon Valley suburbs is now available online, in an attempt to digitise the world’s largest collection of public documents.

Alexander Ohanian (left) and Tom Pinckney founded the on-demand marketplace TaskRabbit, the company that Facebook bought for $500m in 2013. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Here are five things we learned about the direction of the company behind its social network and one of the fastest-growing digital companies in the world.

Social network becomes mobile as Zuckerberg reveals new ‘Lite’ version

Mark Zuckerberg started off his letter to shareholders, published for the company’s eighth anniversary, by reminiscing about his Harvard dorm room and teasing, once again, his dislike of acronyms. He wrote: “When I started Facebook back in 2004, I wanted to create a service that was fast, clean and social.”

Zuckerberg also confirmed that his company will launch its own version of a social network for iOS and Android devices called Facebook Lite. The “Lite” edition will be accessible only through internet-connected smart speakers and in Apple News, and be half the size of the full app. It will not include features such as dating services, photo-editing tools or features that allow people to edit their posts. But its creators hope that it will be more convenient for people to access Facebook Lite. The website has also announced the addition of a feature that allows people to hide messages from their followers’ feed.

1. Much of Wall Street is panicking over Facebook. The company’s share price has fallen around 40% since the beginning of the year, wiping out about $250bn of value. Two more companies – TripAdvisor and Weight Watchers – have also experienced similarly dramatic drops over the same period.

Even those who support Facebook say that news reports of the scandals it has faced this year – including the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and Cambridge Analytica’s sale of user data to Donald Trump’s campaign – are too great to be discounted by Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook is joining Google and YouTube in charging $70 a year for wider access to its content

The second big feature unveiled by Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is that it is launching a paid version of its flagship app – called Facebook Lite – that will be only accessible through internet-connected smart speakers and in Apple News. The “Lite” edition will be half the size of the full app. It will not include features such as dating services, photo-editing tools or features that allow people to edit their posts. But its creators hope that it will be more convenient for people to access Facebook Lite. The website has also announced the addition of a feature that allows people to hide messages from their followers’ feed.

The launch of Facebook Lite comes less than a month after the company announced that it would roll out a similar product for Android and iPhones in August. Financial analyst firm DA Davidson said it expects Facebook to make $16bn in revenue in 2018, and $4.5bn in profit.

‘We’re your father’s church’: how Facebook has changed America Read more

The new version of Facebook will start with a version that is very similar to the one designed in 2009 to help people switch off the old version of the service, the Facebook Lite operating system. The “Lite” edition will be accessible only through internet-connected smart speakers and in Apple News.

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