Facebook Home launch liveblog: live now!

Facebook Android Event Invite

As usual with tech events, we already know what we’re going to see today as Facebook unveils its new ‘home on Android’. Facebook Home is set to be an Android launcher with, as you’d expect, a ton of Facebook, and the HTC First, a mid-range Android 4.1 device in a range of colours, is set to bring the launcher to consumers as the closest we’ll get to a legitimate ‘Facebook phone’. Mark Zuckerberg may have some surprises, though, so join our liveblog below to get the latest news as it happens.

Click here for the liveblog – live!

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Facebook hits one billion monthly active users and likens itself to chairs in debut ad campaign

Fresh off the back of announcing that Facebook now serves a billion active users each month, Mark Zuckerberg’s firm also announced their first brand advertisement, produced with Portland-based ad agency Wieden & Kennedy. Set to be shown in 13 countries and translated to 12 languages, the 90 second spot, entitled The Things That Connect Us,  is described as a reflection of what Facebook stands for by W+K.

Facebook’s first commercial ever honors the everyday things that people use to get together and connect – things like chairs, doorbells, bridges, airplanes and Facebook.

Coinciding with the billion user milestone, the company also released a document of statistics regarding the site since launch. The threshold was passed on September 14th at 8:45pm BST, and the site has played host to 140 billion friend connections, 219 billion photos and 1.13 trillion likes, with over 600 million users frequenting from mobile platforms. With such large user numbers, the big challenge for Facebook is to turn this into a large revenue stream, but investors don’t seem entirely convinced – share prices are slipping further today as the slide away from the billion dollar IPO continues.

Via Adrianne Jeffries (Twitter)
Source Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) | Wieden & Kennedy | FB Newsroom
Image Credit Eduardo Saverin (Facebook)

Is Facebook looking to buy Opera to make its own web browser?

Fresh from floating itself on the NASDAQ at a valuation of $104 billion, only to see share prices plummet by almost 20% in a week, and a $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, the rumour mill has sparked up again, this time suggesting that Facebook is set to acquire Norwegian firm Opera Software. Pocket-lint’s sources claim that Mark Zuckerberg’s company is looking to create its own web browser, possibly one compatible with the oft-rumoured Facebook phone, and that it is looking towards Opera to achieve this goal. The Next Web also cited a different source close to the browser maker, stating that the company was not only in talks regarding a potential acquisition with multiple suitors, but a hiring freeze has been introduced – a sign that big things may be coming. A Facebook browser could look very similar to RockMelt, a browser with Facebook integration and built from Google’s Chromium engine, but partnering with or acquiring a company like Opera would give Facebook independence from third-parties such as Google, thus ensuring total control over the browser, while also the potential to tap in to Opera’s 270 million monthly users. All of this speculation certainly seems plausible, and with Facebook’s tendency to roll out new features perpetually, it might not be long until we find out the truth.

The Winklevii become venture capitalists

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twins who claim they invented Facebook, won $200,000,000 from Mark Zuckerberg in court and now want 4 times more, are now venture capitalists, and Paul Carr of PandoDaily isn’t too happy about it. In other news, if you want money, I am now a VC. Introducing Fundxav.

The noise you hear is the death rattle of any meaning behind the notion of being a VC

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion

In a post on Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that his company has purchased Instagram for $1 billion. Read his post below.

I’m excited to share the news that we’ve agreed to acquire Instagram and that their talented team will be joining Facebook.

For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.

We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.

That’s why we’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently. Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.

We think the fact that Instagram is connected to other services beyond Facebook is an important part of the experience. We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook.

These and many other features are important parts of the Instagram experience and we understand that. We will try to learn from Instagram’s experience to build similar features into our other products. At the same time, we will try to help Instagram continue to grow by using Facebook’s strong engineering team and infrastructure.

This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all. But providing the best photo sharing experience is one reason why so many people love Facebook and we knew it would be worth bringing these two companies together.

We’re looking forward to working with the Instagram team and to all of the great new experiences we’re going to be able to build together.

Facebook launches ad campaign across Google’s AdSense network

Not one of the 850 million? Mark Zuckerberg will keep hunting you down, as Facebook just launched an ad campaign across Google’s AdSense network. As if there aren’t enough people who waste their lives feeding the advertisers