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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Facebook Launch Event: What Can We Expect?

Ankit Tyagi |
July 4, 2011 | 8:26 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, believes Facebook is ready to "launch something awesome" this coming week. After scheduling an event for Wednesday July 7, 2011 at 10 a.m., speculators have started predicting what Facebook will introduce.

Here are a few ideas collected from different analysts and the likelihood of each option:

1. Project Spartan

A few weeks back, a "secret" project from Facebook was leaked about an HTML5-based app that could be run through a mobile browser. This web-app would eliminate the need to develop for the iPhone directly, and bypass Apple's App Store. However the chance of this being released is slim to none. Most sources believe it would not be ready until the middle of July at the earliest.

2. A new photo sharing app

Although contradictory to Project Spartan, images of a new Facebook iPhone app designed for photo sharing were accidentally made public mid-June, showing what analysts claim to be a direct competitor to Instagram, a popular photo sharing service. The released images show large scale sharing capabilities fitting perfectly with Facebook's current photo system. Although this is more likely to be released than Project Spartan, there is still only a small chance this is the released product this Wednesday.

3. A new iPad app

The New York Times reported, mid-June, Facebook has been working on an iPad app slated for release late June or early July. This would bring a customized user experience to one of the largest growing devices today and address one of the chief complaints about Facebook's app development thus far. This app is one of the two products most likely to be unveiled at Facebook's awesome event.

4. Skype powered video chat

The latest rumors about Wednesday's press conference have been geared towards the idea that Facebook chat would be paired with video chat functionality, powered by Skype. Since Microsoft acquired Skype and Microsoft continues to invest in Facebook, there is some logic behind this partnership. Tech Crunch's Michael Arrington has said this would give the chat icons in the invitation for Wednesday's press conference more meaning. Based on the number of sources who believe this to be true, this is also likely to make the main announcement Wednesday. 

With all of these possible announcements, there are clearly some hints taken from the latest social networking attempt by Google, Google+. If the Skype-powered video chat for Facebook becomes a reality, for example, then there is a clear attempt at catching up with the multi-person video chat capabilities from Google+. 

Check back to Neon Tommy to see updates from the Facebook release.


Reach Ankit Tyagi here.

Follow him on Twitter @ankittya.



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