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Inside Facebook

Inside Facebook (Jan 17th, 2017)

Welcome to the first issue of Inside Facebook! We’re going to cover all the latest news, trends, videos and everything else you need to know about the largest social network in the world. Have any thoughts or comments on stuff you want to see? Hit REPLY and let us hear about it!

$FB (3:40 pm EST): $127.69 (↓ 0.57%) // 90-day high: $128.34 // 90-day low: $127.40 // More info

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in a Dallas federal courtroom Tuesday that the Facebook-owned Oculus VR did not steal software and hardware technology from video game publisher ZeniMax. Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion in 2014, but ZeniMax believes Facebook knew at the time of the purchase that some of the company's core virtual reality technology was stolen from ZeniMax by a former employee who joined Oculus in 2013. Zuckerberg testified that "Oculus products are based on Oculus technology." The lawsuit alleges that the former ZeniMax employee copied thousands of documents from his and other ZeniMax employees' computers and provided key technology components that helped lift the success of Oculus' virtual reality headset, Rift. Zuckerberg dismissed the theft allegations. "It's pretty common when you announce a big deal that people just come out of the woodwork and claim they own some part of the deal," Zuckerberg said. – STREETINSIDER

Facebook is moving away from paying celebrities and digital publishers to create live video content, according to a report in Recode. Facebook in 2016 spent more than $50 million on live streaming deals but will be pivoting toward longer premium video content. Facebook executive Ricky Van Heen is reportedly interested in creating "TV-style" shows on the social networking site. Facebook cut deals with 140 publishers to create content, as a way to build the viability of its live video platform. Although BuzzFeed received $3.1 million, The New York Times $3 million and CNN $2.5 million, the amounts to most publishers were much smaller and were not enough to justify the time and resources it took to produce the video. Facebook will continue to support its Facebook Live campaign, which targets regular users to create video content. – RECODE 

With the threat of stricter regulations looming, Facebook executives are traveling to Germany to build better relationships with the country, a sharp critic of the social media giant. Germany's government is concerned that the spread of fake news and allegedly racist content centered around the 900,000 refugees who arrived in the country in 2016 could dramatically affect public opinion. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would force Facebook to remove incitements to hate crimes from its web pages within 24 hours or face fines. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the internet is not a space that is free from the law. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg visited Berlin last Sunday and recently said that Facebook must work with third parties to stop fake news and monitor hate speech.

Facebook has partnered with the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to develop data that will help small businesses learn from each other. Facebook unveiled the "2017 Future of Business" survey, which stretches through 33 countries and more than 140,000 businesses who use Facebook pages. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the social media company "wants to help small businesses grow, and we want to help them continue to create jobs.” More than 60 million small- and medium-sized businesses use Facebook pages. Sandberg said the majority of them are "plumbers, bakers, and local florists" trying to best use technology to reach their customers. –​ FORBES

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown could face a fine from the NFL after he went live on Facebook from the Steelers' locker room, moments after the team defeated the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Brown broadcasted coach Mike Tomlin's post-game speech that received 1.1 million views and 20,000 shares before it was taken down. Tomlin, who used expletives in his speech, was attempting to rally the team for its matchup against the New England Patriots on Sunday. The NFL has strict rules regarding the use of social media immediately before kickoff, at halftime, and after the game, to ensure that players and coaches first meet with the media who are present at the game.  –  TECHCRUNCH

Facebook remains the most used social media app, towering above Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, according to a recently released report. As Snapchat readies for its IPO, Raymond James analyst Aaron Kessler said survey data shows that adults 18-29 prefer Facebook, despite an increase in competition. Although investors worry about Facebook's ad load overwhelming users, Kessler said he expects a 13% increase in the number of daily active Facebook users this year, as well as continued growth in time spent on Facebook. Ad growth could rise by 35 percent, Kessler said.  – BARRONS

Facebook will soon roll out 15-second advertisements during videos that appear on the social networking site. The short ads will display after the video plays for at least 20 seconds. Facebook will sell the ads and give the video publishers 55 percent of the revenue, similar to You Tube's split with video advertisers. Facebook has been looking aggressively to monetize video over the past two years, while also placing more emphasis on the time people spend watching the videos. The company said that users watch 100 million hours of video every day. The entirety of the video must last at least 90 seconds for a mid-roll ad to appear, incentivizing the publisher to create compelling, lengthy content. –​ RECODE

Workforce diversity among engineers is a significant challenge for Facebook, according to Bloomberg. Facebook has struggled to hire black, Latino and female engineers, despite increased recruiting efforts. Even though minority candidates might advance to the final stages of the hiring process, decision-makers are "risk adverse," and often pass on the minority candidates, according to recruiters who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The hiring managers, mostly white and Asian men, placed emphasis on the prestige of the college the candidates attended, the size of the tech firm they previously worked at, and whether anyone at Facebook could vouch for them. All of those considerations could potentially disqualify a candidate who comes from an under-represented background. –​ BLOOMBERG

Mark Zuckerberg is unblockable on Facebook, no matter how much one might dislike his posts, according to Gizmodo. Zuckerberg, the co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the social media giant, appears to be the only person who a user cannot block. Gizmodo attempted to block Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and even Zuckerberg’s wife, Priscilla Chan, and they were blockable. Even President Obama and Oprah Winfrey are able to be blocked on the site.  –​ GIZMODO

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