Facebook for Android: now faster, smaller, less data-hungry

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To figure out how to improve its Facebook for Android app, Facebook engineers traveled to Africa to test the app on a low-bandwidth network.

They ate through their monthly data plan in 40 minutes.

So developers worked to make Facebook for Android less reliant on data and more logical for users in countries that don’t have major data plans. The company also made the app itself smaller, taking up less room on the phone.

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Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn combine to launch WebScaleSQL

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Facebook’s oft-stated mission, per Mark Zuckerberg, is to make the world more open and connected. The social network joined tech giants Google, Twitter and LinkedIn to make this happen faster.

The four companies announced Thursday the launch of WebScaleSQL, described by Facebook Software Engineer Steaphan Greene as, “a collaboration among engineers from several companies that face similar challenges in running MySQL at scale and seek greater performance from a database technology tailored to their needs.”

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A look back at the creation of Facebook’s Look Back videos

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It’s likely that many of you created a “Look Back” video during Facebook’s 10th anniversary extravaganza. But did you know that the feature was created by Facebook engineers in less than a month?

According to a blog post on the site, Facebook anticipated only 10 percent of people who saw their video would share it. Ultimately, more than 40 percent shared their videos just hours after launching. Facebook’s total outgoing traffic was about 20 percent higher than the normal peak. They also found:

  • More than 720 million Look Back videos were created, with 9 million videos created per hour;
  • More than 11 petabytes of storage were used;
  • More than 450 Gbps outgoing bandwidth at peak and 4 PB egress within days; and
  • Over 200 million people watched their Look Back movie in the first two days, and more than 50 percent have shared their movie.

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Class credit for hacking? Facebook expands Open Academy

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Facebook launched its Open Academy — an opportunity for college students to learn how to hack and develop software — last spring and has already seen great success. Now, as the program calls for winter 2014 applicants, the site’s engineers gave people a look at what students do and what they’ve accomplished.

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Facebook is shipping out to Boston

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Facebook today announced that it has launched a new engineering team in Boston. This will be Facebook’s fifth engineering team, counting Menlo Park, Calif., Seattle, New York and London.

According to Facebook’s Boston Site Lead and Engineering Manager Ryan Mack, the Boston office will work on infrastructure projects in areas such as networking, storage, security and language runtimes.

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