A look into Facebook’s f8

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On Wednesday, Facebook’s f8 — a developer’s haven — will return to San Francisco after a three-year absence, this time powered by Parse.

In the past, Facebook has used this conference to announce features such as the Open Graph, Facebook Connect (now Facebook Login) and Timeline. Facebook notes that this year’s f8 will be different (though reports show that Facebook will announce a mobile ad network Wednesday), with a strong focus on the developer community.

A Facebook spokesperson discussed this year’s conference with Inside Facebook:

We’re getting back to our roots and reinventing f8 as a conference purely for developers to learn how to use Facebook and Parse to build, grow, and monetize their apps.

Let’s take a look back at Facebook has launched or announced at past events.

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Facebook acquires WhatsApp for $16 billion

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Facebook may have failed in its bid to acquire popular messaging app Snapchat, but the social network announced Wednesday that it has closed a deal to buy WhatsApp for roughly $16 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, posted to his Facebook page how WhatsApp will work with Facebook:

WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts forInternet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.

WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community. Facebook Messenger is widely used for chatting with your Facebook friends, and WhatsApp for communicating with all of your contacts and small groups of people. Since WhatsApp and Messenger serve such different and important uses, we will continue investing in both and making them each great products for everyone.

WhatsApp had every option in the world, so I’m thrilled that they chose to work with us. I’m looking forward to what Facebook and WhatsApp can do together, and to developing great new mobile services that give people even more options for connecting.

WhatsApp’s brand will be maintained (and ad free, according to the company) and CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board of directors.

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As Facebook approaches 10th birthday, Mark Zuckerberg opens up

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On Tuesday, Facebook will celebrate a decade of social networking. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has recently opened up in candid interviews with NBC’s Today Show and Bloomberg Businessweek about the future of Facebook.

As Facebook matures into the double digits, it appears that Zuckerberg’s beliefs are changing. For instance, the new standalone apps (such as Paper) Facebook is developing may not require users to use their real name.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to sell 41.35M shares

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Facebook announced a proposed follow-on stock offering Thursday, noting that 70 million shares of Facebook stock will hit the market, most of which will come from CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg.

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Slideshow: Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt

Recently, Facebook CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg took the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco for a wide-ranging interview with TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington. Zuckerberg discussed plans for Internet.org as well as learning Mandarin Chinese, and made another push for Facebook Home.

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China’s firewall cracks: Facebook allowed in free-trade zone of Shanghai

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Monday night, Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted the above photo to his timeline, showing a map of Facebook friend connections around the world. One commenter pointed out that China looks quite dark.

That may change soon. According to the South China Morning Post, Beijing is lifting the Internet firewall that has prevented residents from legally accessing Facebook and Twitter — but only within the free-trade zone of Shanghai. This decision will also allow residents to view the website of The New York Times.

Previously, such websites were deemed too politically sensitive and have been banned since 2009, but now it appears that Facebook has a foothold into China — and its 1.35 billion residents (roughly 590 million of whom are online). A Facebook representative confirmed to Inside Facebook that the company is aware of this news, but declined to comment further.

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Can Facebook bring Internet access to 5 billion more people?

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Mark Zuckerberg wants to add 5 billion more Facebook friends.

Well, not exactly. But he does want to expand the Internet’s reach to 5 billion more residents of this increasingly interconnected planet earth.

In a white paper titled “A Focus on Efficiencyreleased this week under the aegis of Internet.org, a consortium of companies who’ve adopted the same aim of expanding online access, the Facebook founder outlines a plan to expand technology reach and the importance of the Internet as a human right, a way to pull away from a zero-sum resource-based economy and plug into its knowledge-based counterpart.

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Examining Facebook’s long-term goals for Internet.org

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One-third of the world’s population has access to the Internet and two-thirds of the world does not. That’s about 5 billion people on Earth who are without Internet access. Facebook and its partners are planning to change that with Internet.org.

It is a lofty goal, and one that seems to make a ton of sense. You’ve heard the spiel. Today, the global economy functions in a huge way on the web. Online business, trade, sales, communication and marketing efforts take up a gigantic portion of large and small business models alike. Experts agree; the importance of the Internet in business is only going to grow in the coming years.

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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook still believe in Home

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Although many consumers have branded Facebook Home (the social network’s Android platform) a flop, the program still has a very important fan — CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Zuckerberg told a packed crowd at TechCrunch Disrupt Wednesday that Facebook is still fully supportive of Home, and teased that Instagram and other social content will be coming to the cover feed soon.

Facebook made a big push with Home in April, but many users who downloaded Home were frustrated and unsure of what exactly it was. Many people complained through Google Play reviews that Home was taking over their phone, quickly deleting it.

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Mark Zuckerberg reflects on IPO, culture of Facebook at TechCrunch Disrupt

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks with TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt. Photo by Courtney Rundles.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks with TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt. Photo by Courtney Rundles.

In a wide-ranging interview with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington Wednesday at Disrupt in San Francisco, Facebook CEO and Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg talked about how going public made the company stronger, how Facebook is still focused on Home, and criticized the U.S. government for its handling of the National Security Agency leaks.

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