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Facebook hits $2.9 billion in second quarter revenues, up 61 percent

07/23, 5:40pm

Revenues beat industry projections and earnings per share, user counts increase

Facebook released its quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2014, showing a large increase year-over-year. Revenues topped out at $2.9 billion, a staggering $1.1 billion, or 61 percent, increase from 2013. The revenue jump is due largely to advertising revenue and an increase in daily and monthly active users.

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Facebook's $2 billion acquisition for Oculus VR officially closes

07/21, 5:35pm

Deal passes final hurdle with California government approval after hearing last week

After a hearing last week with the California Department of Business Oversight, Facebook's $2 billion deal for virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR has officially closed this week. The California government was the final piece of regulation that the companies needed to clear for the offer, first reported in March, to go through.

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Facebook adds Save, creates list for future media consumption

07/21, 2:59pm

Feature pulls items into central location, issues save item News Feed reminders

Facebook users no longer need to worry about trying to find a post on that interesting band or restaurant they didn't have time to read. The social media company announced today that it launched Save, a feature that allows users to collect items for later consumption into one place. The feature is rolling out to mobile app and web-based users of the social media service.

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Facebook launches 'buy' button test on news feed ads, business pages

07/20, 4:35pm

Button limited to small and medium-sized businesses, built with privacy in mind

Less than a month since Twitter began testing a "buy now" button on the social media service, Facebook has jumped into the arena to offer its own "buy" button. The new feature is being tested with a small number of businesses as a way to drive commerce directly to those involved, without requiring people to leave Facebook to complete a transaction.

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Facebook debuts Mentions iOS app for celebrities, corporations

07/17, 12:37pm

Access barred to people without verified accounts

Facebook has launched a new iPhone app, Mentions. Unlike its others, however, Mentions can't be accessed by the general public. Instead users must have a verified account, restricting it to businesses and celebrities such as actors, politicians, and musicians.

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EU quizzes tech companies over Facebook-WhatsApp acquisition

07/10, 12:28pm

Questionnaires sent by European Commission ahead of formal Facebook purchase review

Officials in the European Union are allegedly questioning competitors of WhatsApp over the proposed acquisition by Facebook. The European Commission, the competition authority, is said to have sent detailed questionnaires to a number of "major technology and online-messaging firms" about how much of an the impact the $19 billion merger will have on the messaging and social network marketplaces.

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Privacy group files complaint with FTC over Facebook emotional study

07/06, 3:13pm

EPIC claims social media giant 'purposefully messed with people's minds'

If Facebook hasn't received enough flak for the emotional manipulation study it conducted on its user base, the company could soon face more from regulators. Last week, privacy watchdog group the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the one-week study Facebook conducted in 2012 that manipulated users' news feeds.

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Facebook Messenger comes to iPad

07/03, 12:30pm

Incorporates iPhone features in larger real estate

Facebook has updated the iOS version of Messenger, adding a native iPad interface for the first time. Functionally the interface is similar to its iPhone equivalent, mostly displaying more contacts simultaneously, and providing extra screen space for images and text. Significantly though, iPad users don't have to switch between the contact view and message threads.

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UK data watchdog may investigate Facebook over emotion research

07/02, 3:49pm

Information Commissioner checks if Facebook research broke UK data laws

The fallout from Facebook's experiment with its users continues, with a UK government agency planning to investigate. The United Kingdom's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the body that deals with data protection laws in the country, will be looking to see if the social network broke any laws during its testing of emotional manipulation in 2012.

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Facebook emotional paper researcher explains study importance

07/01, 6:58pm

Coauthor says benefits of research may not have been worth the backlash

Adam Kramer, co-author of the paper involving Facebook news feed manipulation, took to the social media service to explain the importance of the study earlier this week. Since news of the psychological study hit the Internet, many have wondered about the ethical implications of emotional manipulation by the company. Kramer indicated that the researchers didn't clearly state their motivations in the paper, leading to a misinterpretation of how the study was perceived.

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Facebook toys with the emotions of users in the name of science

06/29, 2:30pm

Psychological study in 2012 altered users' news feeds for positive or negative mental states

In a study to see if emotional states could be transferred to others online, Facebook conducted a psychological experiment in January 2012 with its users as guinea pigs. According a research paper published this month, feeds from over 689,000 English-language accounts were altered for either positive or negative states for one week to see if there was an impact on mental states.

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Oculus VR files response to ZeniMax, says 'truth is quite different'

06/25, 7:38pm

Document claims Palmer Luckey invented device in 2010 before contact with ZeniMax

It appears that the battle between Oculus VR and ZeniMax Media may be heating up. In a filing with the United States District Court in Texas today, Oculus defended its position that the company has not stolen any intellectual property. Oculus asked for a jury trial in the filing, while accusing ZeniMax of using an opportunistic ploy to get money out of the company on the back of its success and acquisition by Facebook.

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Briefly: Facebook spreads Slingshot, London Underground Amazon Lockers

06/25, 7:44am

Facebook Slingshot opens up to all users following US-only launch

Facebook has expanded the reach of its recently-launched reciprocal messaging app Slingshot to the rest of the world, following its United States-only launch. The app, available on iOS and Android internationally, will let recipients of images, video, and text-based messages view the contents only after replying another message back at the original sender.

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Facebook launches Slingshot with message unlocking via reciprocation

06/17, 4:05pm

Slingshot requires response before reading incoming messages

Facebook has launched its Snapchat competitor for a second time, following its accidental release and retraction earlier this month. Slingshot, out for both iOS and Android in the United States, allows users to pass messages, images, and video to each other, though the recipient will not be able to read the message until they "react" with their own message.

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Report: Facebook to officially launch Slingshot photo app on Tuesday

06/16, 11:20pm

Botched early leak revealed features of Snapchat competitor

The official launch of Facebook's Snapchat competitor, called Slingshot, will likely happen on Tuesday, according to reports. The ephemeral messaging app, which offers users the ability to send a photo or short video with annotation features that are depending on the recipient acknowledging that they want the incoming message. The application was accidentally released and subsequently removed from the App Store a week ago.

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Facebook Paper gets several improvements in major 1.2 update

06/16, 2:28pm

Adds mentions, hashtags, photo-related features

Facebook has released a significant update of Paper, its story-oriented reading app for the iPhone. The focus of v1.2 is on parity with the main Facebook app and website. Users now have access to hashtags and trending content, for instance, and friend mentions can be included in posts. The privacy settings for a post can be changed after the fact, and tapping and holding on a post's text will let people copy it.

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Facebook iPad interface gets desktop-style sidebar in landscape mode

06/16, 1:11pm

Shows events, trending content, games

Facebook is rolling out an update to its iOS app that will allow iPad users to better see content outside of their news feed, according to an official blog post. When in landscape mode, iPad users will see a right-hand sidebar styled after the one visible on Facebook.com. This includes a quick view of upcoming birthdays and events, and trending topics.

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Oculus Rift expecting a million sales, may be sold at cost to users

06/13, 11:35am

Facebook not expecting mass adoption of version one of the product

Executive interviews at E3 have spelled out exactly what the Facebook expects from the early stages of its Oculus Rift VR headset release. Oculus CEO Brendan Irebe pointed out some areas that he was expecting the device to improve on before release, and revealed that he is expecting "north of a million" device sales of the first consumer version of the headset, which may sell at cost to help improve adoption.

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Briefly: Facebook Messenger for iOS update, iHealth glucose monitor

06/13, 11:26am

Facebook Messenger for iOS adds video messages, 'Big Likes'

Facebook Messenger for iOS has received an update, offering new instant video sending and a "Big Likes" feature. Facebook Messenger allows users to access their Facebook messages without opening Facebook, and have conversations with friends that include stickers, private photo sending, group conversations and more.

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Briefly: Launch and retraction of Slingshot, upcoming Instagram ads

06/09, 11:41pm

Facebook accidentally launches then removes new Slingshot app

Facebook's new ephemeral messaging app, Slingshot, was accidentally released and subsequently removed from the App Store. Designed to be able to "share everyday moments with lots of people at once," users must send a return message in order to "unlock" a received message. Amongst other features, while viewing a message, a reaction can be sent by tapping the React button. Slingshot has no official release date.

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Flickr removing Google, Facebook log-in options from end of June

06/06, 2:36pm

Flickr users forced to link new, existing Yahoo IDs to account

Yahoo is going to remove the ability to sign into Flickr using a Google or Facebook account at the end of this month. E-mails have been sent to users of the photo hosting service warning them that they will be forced to log in using only a Yahoo ID from June 30th, as part of a wider move by Yahoo away from third-party authentication to just using its own account system.

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Apple, Facebook, other corporations publish Reset the Net letter

06/05, 3:09pm

Asks for limits to government surveillance

Several US technology executives -- including Apple's Tim Cook, Google's Larry Page, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer -- have published an open letter as a part of the Reset the Net anti-surveillance campaign. The letter complains that the USA Freedom Act -- which recently passed through the House of Representatives -- still permits bulk collection of Internet metadata, despite promises by the White House and Congress to halt the practice. The executives are also asking for the flexibility to publish more detail about the quantity and types of government requests they get for customer information.

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Briefly: D-Link's Facebook Wi-Fi, iPlayer revamped for iOS, Android

05/29, 9:52pm

D-Link and Facebook collaborate to offer 11AC Router with integrated Facebook Wi-Fi

Networking and connectivity company D-Link has announced its collaboration with Facebook to deliver D-Link's first wireless router with Facebook Wi-Fi. The D-Link 802.11ac router with integrated Facebook Wi-Fi is aimed at small businesses who wish to provide customers with a Wi-Fi hot spot, accessible by checking in via the business' Facebook Page.

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Facebook asks European regulators to review Whatsapp purchase

05/28, 6:59pm

Company uses provision in merger law to ask for single review process

Even though Facebook already has approval from the United States Federal Trade Commission for the $16 billion purchase of Whatsapp, the company is looking to get ahead of the game in Europe. Facebook has asked regulators that are part of the European Commission to review the acquisition deal ahead of possible antitrust concerns.

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Mark Zuckerberg summoned to Iran courts to answer privacy charges

05/27, 9:19am

Executive unlikely to appear, or send legal representation

The Iranian court system is alleging that WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook - all owned by the latter company -- are violating the rights of privacy in the country. As part of the investigation, the sanctioned country has summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear and answer charges, a summons that the executive is likely to ignore.

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Instagram latest social media to be blocked by Iran government

05/25, 6:07pm

Application blocked by court order after lawsuit filed over privacy concerns

Facebook-owned Instagram has been blocked in Iran, marking another social media block from the country this month. A different Facebook company, WhatsApp, was banned at the beginning of the month, stemming from Mark Zuckerberg's family heritage, which is Jewish. Instagram was also temporarily banned in the country for 12 hours last December.

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Core Animation creator leaves Apple for Facebook

05/22, 4:24pm

Also credited with number of other OS X, iOS technologies

John Harper -- the creator of the Core Animation framework used in iOS and OS X -- has left Apple for a position at Facebook, according to posts on Twitter. Core Animation first appeared in the iPhone OS in 2007, and migrated to OS X months later. Harper has spent over 12 years at Apple in total, and is credited with helping on a number of other iOS/OS X components as well, including Core Image, the port of X11, and OS X's windowing system.

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Facebook changes default privacy settings, adds new privacy tools

05/22, 12:19pm

Reminders will show to new, existing users about audience of status updates

Facebook is changing the default target of status updates for new users, it has revealed, potentially helping users from posting publicly things that should be between friends. As well as helping prevent first-time posters from oversharing, Facebook is also preparing to release a new privacy checkup tool, which will aid existing users in reviewing their privacy preferences.

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Facebook introduces automatic media recognition for Android, iOS apps

05/21, 3:08pm

Mobile app can recognize TV shows, films, songs, add them to status updates

Facebook has confirmed rumors from earlier today, that it is allowing users to recognize content being watched or listened to. Users of the social network's iOS and Android apps will soon be able to include movies, TV shows, and songs playing nearby in status updates, with the app able to automatically recognize soundtracks while the user is writing.

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Facebook to launch TV/music recognition tech later today, sources say

05/21, 12:48pm

Feature expected to debut in updated iOS, Android apps

Facebook is planning to debut a new service later today that will let people identify TV shows and music, several sources claim. The technology is expected to arrive in the form of updated iOS and Android apps that, much like Shazam or Google Now, will be able to sample audio and recognize patterns. For Facebook, the addition is intended to make it easier for people to share media consumption on news feeds.

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Briefly: Facebook's anti-malware, Pinterest's new analytical API

05/20, 11:00pm

Facebook introduces free downloads of anti-malware software

Facebook has announced that it has added downloadable anti-malware software to its abuse detection and prevention systems. Provided in conjunction with F-Secure and Trend Micro, Facebook's new service is aimed at Windows users with infected devices. A pop-up notification appears upon signing into Facebook on an infected device; the app sends scan notifications within Facebook, and when the scanning is completed, the software uninstalls.

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Facebook said to be developing another app to compete with Snapchat

05/19, 7:15pm

App known as Slingshot could bring simple interface in ephemeral messaging

A report from the Financial Times indicates that Facebook is working on another app to complete with the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat. Information from sources close to the company say that the app, internally known as Slingshot, has been under development for several months at the evolving social media organization.

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Google adds new Glass project head, loses lead electrical engineer

05/16, 7:23am

Ivy Ross leads Google Glass effort, Adrian Wong leaves for Oculus VR

The leadership of Googles Glass has changed, with the tech giant hiring a fashion executive to head up the team. Ivy Ross, formerly of a string of high-profile companies, joins Google at the same time as news that lead electrical engineer Adrian Wong has left the project and Google in favor of Facebook and recent-acquisition Oculus VR.

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Facebook removes Snapchat rival Poke, Camera apps from app store

05/11, 3:20pm

App removal comes as company looks to future Creative Labs offerings

Facebook has pulled its Poke and Camera apps from the iOS app store, bringing an end to the apps which were launched as direct competitors to popular mobile apps such as Snapchat and Instagram. The Verge reports on the discovery of the app removals on Friday, stating that the removals come two years after the launch of the apps.

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Facebook, Zynga won't face wiretap allegations in upcoming civil suit

05/09, 10:57am

Appeals court nixes wiretap claims, allow privacy policy violation allegations

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' panel of judges has ruled that a civil suit's wiretap claims, alleging illicit transfer of personal information against Facebook and Zynga, weren't valid. The unanimous panel ruling said that information passed to advertisers by the social network and game maker didn't qualify as the "contents of a communication" under the US wiretap law.

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Tech companies sign joint letter opposing FCC net neutrality proposals

05/08, 7:06am

Google, Facebook, Amazon among coalition asking for FCC to reconsider net rules

A coalition of technology companies have co-signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its net neutrality proposals. Signed by over a hundred Internet companies, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Amazon, the letter asks the FCC to reconsider what the companies claim "represents a grave threat to the Internet."

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Moves updates privacy policy, will share data with Facebook

05/07, 6:33am

Policy update reneges earlier statements over Moves data privacy

Moves, a health and fitness tracking app for iOS and Android, has changed its stance on user data just weeks after being acquired by Facebook. The app has apparently reneged on a claim that it will not "commingle data with Facebook," with an update to its privacy policy now stating it will share data "including personally identifying information" with affiliates, including Facebook.

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Iran censors block WhatsApp over 'American Zionist' ownership

05/07, 5:07am

Ban by censors opposed by Iranian government officials

Censors in Iran have moved to ban the WhatsApp messaging service, for being owned by an "American Zionist," according to reports. The reasoning of the ban stems from the acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook for a total of $19 billion earlier this year, with the Jewish background of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg being at issue.

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Facebook promotes VP of Product Chris Cox to Chief Product Officer

05/04, 3:00pm

Former VP, engineer moves into new position without organizational change

Facebook named its next Chief Product Officer this weekend as Chris Cox, in a promotion from within the company. Cox, who formerly held the position of vice president of product, began working as an engineer for the company in 2005 and later worked as the company's human resources director. He is also credited with helping invent Facebook's news feed, as well as the company's "Social by Design" strategy.

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OAuth, OpenID 'covert redirect' flaw discovered; hard to implement fix

05/02, 11:55am

Google, Microsoft, Facebook all potentially affected by attack vector

Under scrutiny from security researchers after the discovery of Heartbleed, another significant problem has been identified in open source security measures. Authentication tools OAuth and OpenID have been found to be victim to a "covert redirect" flaw, with sites such as Google, PayPal, Yahoo, Facebook, and Microsoft's Hotmail subject to attack.

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Tech firms teaming up to notify users of government data requests

05/01, 11:56pm

Goal is to force greater openness, courts to weigh in on secret collection

Apple and other tech companies are planning to adjust privacy policies to begin notifying customers when their information is requested by most law enforcement agencies, according to reports. Microsoft, Facebook and Google are also said to be planning to implement the same idea, as all four companies strongly support the right of users to know when their data is being requested by government officials in most cases. The move is widely seen as an attempt to force the process to become more lawful and transparent.

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Oculus Rift draws ire of ZeniMax for intellectual property theft

05/01, 11:03am

ZeniMax claims John Carmack misappropriated company VR IP upon departure

The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset may be about to fall victim to a patent lawsuit. Game developer ZeniMax Media, previous employer of John Carmack, Oculus' chief technology officer, is claiming that Carmack appropriated ZeniMax's intellectual property related to virtual reality and took it with him to Oculus. Zenimax is claiming that the IP theft allowed Oculus to grow quickly, and take advantage of Facebook's $2 billion dollar buyout offer, which has yet to close.

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New 'Facebook Audience Network' mobile ad service deployed

04/30, 5:26pm

CEO Zuckerberg opens ad service to more developers

At today's F8 Facebook developer's conference, the social network announced the creation of a new mobile device advertising service. The Facebook Audience Network allows developers to use the network to embed Facebook-hosted advertisement in applications, with the coder and Facebook sharing the revenue. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said during his speech announcing the service that "this is really the first time that we're going to help you monetize in a serious way on mobile."

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Industry bigwigs launch OpenSSL-fixing Core Infrastructure Initiative

04/24, 1:16pm

New organization to fund open source projects that have wide importance

The Linux Foundation today announced it has formed a new project to fund and support critical elements of the global information infrastructure, namely OpenSSL. The newly-formed Core Infrastructure Initiative enables technology companies to collaboratively identify and fund open-source projects that are in need of assistance, while allowing the developers to continue their work under open-source community norms. Founding backers of the Initiative include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, VMware and The Linux Foundation.

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Facebook buys out Moves fitness app for iOS and Android

04/24, 11:00am

App to stay available as separate entity

Facebook has bought out Finnish firm ProtoGeo Oy and its signature product, Moves, a health and fitness tracking app for iOS and Android. ProtoGeo says it will start contributing to Facebook's own services in an unspecified capacity. Moves will continue to exist as a standalone app though, and ProtoGeo adds that there are "no plans to change that or commingle data with Facebook."

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Briefly: Uber in Beijing, Madame Tussauds creates Zuckerberg waxwork

04/24, 8:09am

Uber launches in Beijing, China, operates in 100 markets

Transportation service Uber has launched its service in its 100th market, with Beijing, China being the milestone location. The new addition to Uber's roster comes just under four years after the service first started in San Francisco, with the company also launching a commemorative page showing all locations it currently operates and highlighting Uber stories posted on Twitter.

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Facebook quarterly income climbs 72 percent in a year to $642 million

04/23, 8:46pm

Facebook users' shift to mobile accelerating, new CFO inbound

Facebook today reported financial results for its most recent quarter. The company posted $2.5 billion in revenue, beating analyst expectations, with an operating margin of 43 percent. Net income hit $642 million, with earnings per share of $0.25, an over 70 percent gain in profit in a year. Notably, mobile daily active users increased to 609 million, an increase of 43 percent from 2013.

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Briefly: WhatsApp hits 500M active users, Sprint domestic unlocking

04/23, 7:39am

WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily

WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.

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Briefly: Facebook 9.0 for iOS, cross-platform Farmville 2

04/17, 11:34pm

Facebook updates for iPhone, adds replying to comments and more

Version 9.0 has been released for Facebook's app for iOS, adding new features. Though a minor update, the biggest addition to the app is the ability for users to reply to comments on pages that have enabled it. Administrators can now review and review posts by group members, and all users will be able to view trending topic posts in the iPad's version of News Feed. Facebook's app for iPhone and iPad can be downloaded for free from iTunes.

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Facebook to roll out Nearby Friends option for iOS, Android apps

04/17, 3:27pm

Feature deploying slowly

Facebook has announced an upcoming feature for its iOS and Android apps, Nearby Friends. The function will notify users when friends are within a certain radius, giving a chance to meet up. For security purposes the feature will be off by default, only work if both parties have it enabled, and allow restricting notifications to specific groups -- close friends, for example, or a custom list.

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