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Inside Facebook (Jul 14th, 2017)

India has overtaken the United States as the world's largest Facebook audience, with 241 million active users. As of July 13, Facebook says India surpassed the U.S., which has 240 million active users. New Delhi also ranked sixth among cities with the largest Facebook audience. Active users in India have increased 27 percent in the last six months alone. India's mobile users represent 84 percent of the total 241 million. — THENEXTWEB

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Oculus is reportedly releasing a $200 standalone headset in 2018. The new device, which has the code name "Pacific," will look like a smaller version of the existing high-end Rift headsets and be lighter than the Samsung Gear VR models. Standalone headsets operate without cords, mobile phones, or computers, and are the next generation of VR hardware. Other companies are also trying to create standalone VR headsets, including Samsung's Odyssey and Google's HTC and Lenovo prototypes. Oculus Rift headsets are on sale now for $399 when bundled with Oculus Touch controllers, and the $200 price tag represents an even more affordable entry into VR for consumers. — BLOOMBERG

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Facebook, Twitter, and Snap are all bidding on rights to host World Cup video highlights. Fox holds broadcast rights for the World Cup soccer games for the next several years. The company has yet to decide whether to grant rights to the highlight clips exclusively to one platform, or to offer them to a range of platforms.  All three networks have previously offered sports coverage: Twitter signed deals with MLB, NHL, and the NFL to livestream some games, Facebook recently negotiated with the Champions League to stream the annual European soccer tournament, and Snap has featured content from the Olympics and the NFL. — BUSINESS INSIDER

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Facebook pledged to support net neutrality on Wednesday's online Day of Action. CEO/founder Mark Zuckerberg posted on the site and offered to help Congress and anyone else make laws to protect a "free and open" internet. The Day of Action was organized by a coalition of net neutrality non-profits in response to the FCC's plan to reverse Title II rules. Title II prevents ISPs (Internet Service Providers) from showing preference by slowing user speeds or blocking websites or services. A host of internet companies and sites also showed their support Wednesday. — CNBC

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WhatsApp and Amazon are not protecting the privacy of users, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The watchdog group published its privacy protection rankings of tech companies, and WhatsApp and Amazon each received only two stars out of five. The report calls out both companies for failing to notify users of data requests, not protecting users' personal data from surveillance, and not standing up to national security letter gag orders. — ZDNET

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Facebook has a new feature in its VR Spaces app that lets users broadcast on Facebook Live. Although using the app requires Oculus Rift hardware, the Spaces broadcasts on Facebook Live will be able to reach people "who don't yet have VR," because they can be viewed on regular screens or displays. Slate is taking advantage of the new feature and is launching a weekly live show called "Conundrums" which will be produced using the app's VR. The show's format has Slate's culture editor Dan Kois interviewing actors and celebrities portrayed by avatars, and the Facebook Live audience can make real-time comments. — VARIETY

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