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Mobile AR could hit $60 billion by 2021 thanks to Apple and Facebook

The mobile AR platform war kicked off at F8 with Mark Zuckerberg’s proclamation that “we’re making the camera the first augmented reality platform.” That simple sentence transformed what had been a one-hit wonder in Pokémon Go into an epic battle between Facebook, Apple, Google, Tencent, Snap, Alibaba, Baidu, Samsung, Huawei and more. Apple’s announcement of its ARkit for iOS this week as “the largest AR platform in the world” took the mobile AR war to the next level. They’re fighting over a market that could hit over a billion users and $60 billion revenue globally by 2021 (as detailed in Digi-Capital’s new Mobile Augmented Reality Report).

Software is eating the (mobile AR) world

While folks were distracted by the prospect of an iPhone AR being launched by Apple, Facebook changed the game fundamentally by launching its mobile AR Platform. But Apple secretly had its own mobile AR software plans brewing ahead and countered with ARkit for iOS. So where mobile AR hardware from Apple, Samsung, Huawei and others could deliver an installed base over 400 million users by 2021, Facebook, Tencent, Apple, Snap and others could drive a mobile AR software user base in the hundreds of millions next year, and billions by 2021. Mobile AR software platforms could deliver over 4 times the number of users of dedicated mobile AR hardware.

All about that base

Some folks might be incredulous at these sorts of numbers. So let’s look at hard data on installed bases and conversion rates for the major players to get a sense of scale.

Facebook’s AR platform could be rolled out to Facebook Messenger’s 1.2 billion monthly active users, WhatsApp’s 1.2 billion MAU, and Instagram’s 700 million MAU. While it’s tempting to add these numbers together, significant overlap means that is too aggressive (i.e. Facebook doesn’t have 3.1 billion unique MAU). It’s more conservative to think about either Messenger or WhatsApp as a starting point for the number of unique users Facebook could try to migrate to its AR Platform. And Facebook knows what it’s doing when migrating users to new features. 15 percent of WhatsApp users use Status 10 weeks after launch, 29 percent of Instagram users use Stories less than a year after launch, and 54 percent of Instagram users use Direct 4 years after launch. Now that’s a growth curve.

But let’s not forget that Apple is expert when it comes to converting existing users to new software, with 86 percent of Apple’s nearly 700 million iPhones installing iOS 10 a year after launch. That’s a pretty compelling prospect for the rollout of ARkit.

Tencent has 846 million MAU for WeChat, and migrated 61 percent of them to use Moments every time they open WeChat 5 years after launch. While Tencent hasn’t formally announced its AR platform yet, it battled Alibaba in the mobile AR market earlier this year. Of Snap’s 300 million MAU, they’ve migrated 45 percent to Stories 4 years after launch. Snap doesn’t describe Lenses as mobile AR yet, but it’s still fighting a head-to-head battle with Facebook and Apple over mobile AR. And this is before considering LINE, Kakao, Snow, Baidu and more.

The platforms entering the mobile AR software market have billions of users. They’re great at migrating them to new features. If hard data is anything to go by, the only user numbers that make sense for mobile AR software platforms are big ones.

Hard wearing

We’ve been saying for the last 2 years Apple is…

How to Create Facebook Statuses with Colorful Backgrounds or Large Stickers

If you’ve been on Facebook recently, you’ve probably noticed that statuses are starting to look a lot more… colorful. While you’ve been able to add photos, emotions and activities for a while, now you can go even further. What once would have been a regular text update might now look something like this.

Or even like this.

So let’s look at how to make your posts as big and bold.

I’m using the Facebook website for this, but the process is much the same on mobile devices. It’s also worth noting that Facebook rolls out features at a different pace to different parts of the world. If you can’t follow along, it might be because this particular feature isn’t available where you are yet.

Open Facebook and click anywhere on the Create a Post dialog box at the top of your News Feed.

You’ll see a row of colored circles appear below where it says “Write Something Here”.

Facebook leaked documents reveal how it moderates hate speech, porn, and terrorism

(Reuters) — Leaked Facebook documents show how the social media company moderates issues such as hate speech, terrorism, pornography and self-harm on its platform, the Guardian reported, citing internal guidelines seen by the newspaper.

New challenges such as “revenge porn” have overwhelmed Facebook’s moderators who often have just ten seconds to make a decision, the Guardian said. The social media company reviews more than 6.5 million reports of potentially fake accounts a week, the newspaper added.

Many of the company’s content moderators have concerns about the inconsistency and peculiar nature of some of the policies. Those on sexual content, for example, are said to be the most complex and confusing, the Guardian said.

Facebook had no specific comment on the report but said safety was…

Facebook brings out a new ‘Order Food’ option

Facebook brings out a new ‘Order Food’ option

Facebook is rolling out a new food ordering option on its app and desktop site. If you go to the desktop “Explore” section, or the app menu, and click on the hamburger icon, you’ll be redirected to a page full of nearby restaurants that deliver through Facebook.

From the restaurant list, you can either go to each place’s Facebook page and order there, or select Start Order. You…

Mark Zuckerberg Is Making Good On His Wedding Promise To Priscilla Chan

On Friday, the Facebook CEO and his wife ― a philanthropist and pediatrician ― celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary. Zuckerberg marked the occasion with a sweet Facebook post (naturally!) that also told the funny story of how their wedding ended up falling just one day after the social media company went public back in 2012.

“Priscilla and I wanted a low key wedding so we decided to make it a surprise and have it in our backyard. I sent our friends and family an email telling them I was throwing a surprise party for Priscilla to celebrate her graduation from medical school. Since they thought it was a surprise for Priscilla, they kept it quiet. When they showed up at our home, I told them we were getting married. It was a great day,” Zuckerberg wrote in…

Eventbrite: Events on Facebook result in 2x the ticket sales

For more than a decade, Eventbrite has sought to position itself away from being a service to sell you tickets, but about the overall experience. To achieve this, the company has been working on developing the Event Graph, designed to make it easier to discover relevant events and have you focus less on the process of obtaining a ticket. So far the results appear to be promising.

“We are fundamentally helping people find great experiences,” remarked Scott Van Brunt, Eventbrite’s head of partnerships in an interview with VentureBeat. More than 2 million tickets are sold each week through its platform, but for the most part it has largely been through traditional means, not anything native. In July, Eventbrite began a partnership with Facebook that would allow users to buy event tickets directly through its site and apps — no longer would they need to go to third-party pages. Van Brunt claimed that since then, powered Facebook events generated 2x the number of tickets than before.

While he declined to provide specific numbers, Van Brunt said that more than 500,000 events have been published to Facebook since Eventbrite began its distributed commerce strategy. He also believes it proves the company’s strategy around being everywhere consumers are and meeting them there. “The thing that’s interesting about [our distributed strategy] is there’s a shift in the ticketing industry. We’re bringing openness and letting anyone grab ticketing inventory,” he remarked. “This represents a fundamental shift.”

The success of its Facebook integration is something Eventbrite said demonstrates the power of social commerce and…

E.U. Fines Facebook $122 Million Over Disclosures in WhatsApp Deal

Europe’s love affair with Facebook may be coming to an end.

On Thursday, the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief fined the social network 110 million euros, or about $122 million, for giving misleading statements during the company’s $19 billion acquisition of the internet messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

The fine — one of the largest regulatory penalties against Facebook — comes days after Dutch and French privacy watchdogs ruled that the company had broken strict data protection rules. Other European countries, notably Germany, are clamping down on social media companies, including issuing potentially hefty penalties for failing to sufficiently police hate speech and misinformation.

The European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, said that Facebook had told the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, that the social network would not combine the company’s data with that of WhatsApp, which has more than one billion users.

Yet last August, Facebook announced that it would begin sharing WhatsApp data with the rest of the company. That could allow it to gain an unfair advantage over rivals, by giving it access to greater amounts of data to help support its online advertising business.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of E.U. merger rules,” Ms. Vestager said in a statement. “And it imposes a proportionate and deterrent fine on Facebook. The commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

In response, Facebook said that it had acted in good faith in its deliberations with Europe’s antitrust officials, and that it would not appeal the financial penalty.

“The errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional,” Facebook said in a statement. “The commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review.”

The overall penalty amounted to a slap on the wrist — it pales in comparison with the tens of billions of dollars the company earns in online advertising every year, and Europe’s antitrust officials stopped short of voiding the deal completely.

But the fine signals that European officials are increasing their scrutiny of Facebook just as it becomes one of the largest technology companies on the planet.

Increased oversight has become something of a rite of passage for American technology companies operating in Europe.

During the…

How to Report a Facebook Post

While Facebook is more personal than Twitter—you’re less likely to get into a shouting match with a random, anonymous stranger—it isn’t without its problems. Since everyone is using their real names, or at least real identities, it’s easier for abuse to get more personal.

Facebook’s Terms of Service ban any bullying, abuse, and harassment; people also aren’t allowed post any content that is threatening or contains hate speech, nudity, or violence. Other than that, though, people are free to post pretty much whatever they want. Just because you don’t agree with something, doesn’t mean it’s not allowed on Facebook. If, however, you’re sure it breaches the Terms of Service, here’s how to report a Facebook post.

Find the post you want to report on Facebook. I’m using this innocent post from my colleague Justin.

Facebook’s latest tweak could make using the mobile app way easier

Facebook's mobile app could be getting a streamlined new look.
Facebook’s mobile app could be getting a streamlined new look.

The latest Facebook update could make it even easier for users to navigate through all of its extensive groups, pages, and feeds on the mobile app.

The social network constantly tweaks its user experience to keep us sharing and liking all day — it can’t afford for all of us to break away, after all. Some updates are major, like adding Stories, while other subtle tweaks aim to make the user experience less of an echo chamber.

The latest update, first spotted on iOS devices, replaces the standard app navigation bar with a more streamlined, bubble-filled UI. You’ll be able to get to your Events, see your friends, and check out your Profile even more quickly than ever before.

Check out the updated navigation bar at the bottom of the image below. The new bubble icon in the corner replaces the old triple horizontal bar symbol that once allowed users to check out their Profile, events, and other features. To the left is the “On This Day” icon, which now holds its own spot on the menu — more on that in a moment.

The new navigation bar adds two new...