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New Portal Video Chat And TV Streaming Devices Launched By Facebook


New Portal Video Chat And TV Streaming Devices Launched By Facebook
Facebook Inc made its first navigation into TV streaming hardware as it unveiled its new models of Portal video chatting devices on Wednesday. The social media giant however offered a small selection of subscription services.
According to analysts, the latest move by the company is being made at a juncture when the company is trying to focus into private forms of communication to a greater extent following slow user growth for years now. The company has also been facing data scandals and demands for more proactive and decisive action and approach with respect to content moderation.
The WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram apps have more than by 2.4 billion users each month which also makes Facebook among the largest global players in the field of private messaging.
For its new Portal, the company is continuing to focus on video calling as the capacity would be added to WhatsApp calls together with enhancement of a wide-angle camera which manage to keep focus on users even as they move around in a room.
Sale of its Portals are also being planned to be expanded into countries such as the UK, France and Australia and the company it also reducing its prices so that it is able to compete more closely with industry-leading smart speakers from Amazon and Google that have a price of under $100.
Facebook would start shipping of the Portal on October 15 and the standard models will be priced at $129 and $179 according to the versions of the devices. Portal TV will cost $149 and will be available for purchasing from November 5.
The best selling point of these devices would be the social nature of the products, hopes Facebook as the users would be allowed to watch shows together while they interact with each other using video calling on the same screen.
“I think that in a couple years’ time, if you have a smart streaming device that doesn’t have a camera allowing you to video call people, you’re not going to have a competitive product,” said vice president of AR/VR Andrew Bosworth. “I think this is the killer feature for a device like this.”
Privacy security such as local processing of smart features on the devices which means that most of the user data would not be transferred to the servers of Facebook was also highlighted by Bosworth.
However, only limited options for TV programming and a few music apps will be available on Portal TV. That means that attracting new customers to the products could be an issue for Facebook as streaming service users have now become used to rich and varied content as offered by the likes of Apple TV, Netflix and Roku.
Portal TV would have Amazon’s Prime Video app loaded by the time it is available, said executives of the company.
There was no comment made by the company about whether it had approached the likes HBO, Hulu or Disney for providing content for the service.