Podcasts and Travel Apps? Facebook Is Working on Those

Podcasts and Travel Apps? Facebook Is Working on Those

Facebook is exploring the creation of new products such as apps and programs for podcasts, travel, workplace services and newsletter tools, according to three people with the knowledge of the company’s plans, as it looks to expand out of its comfort zone.

The projects are nascent and may never see the light of day, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly. The work is being conducted in a new division of Facebook called the New Product Experimentation Team, or the NPE Team. Its mandate is to build the future of Facebook, whatever that may look like, the people said.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, is focused on maintaining the social network’s position as an indispensable part of people’s digital lives. He has worked for more than 15 years to stave off irrelevance and to help Facebook avoid the fates of Myspace, Friendster and other companies that failed to innovate beyond their main offerings.

But the Silicon Valley giant also faces scrutiny for privacy deficiencies and the spread of disinformation and hate speech. Regulators are investigating its acquisitions, including the photo-sharing site Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp, and whether Mr. Zuckerberg engaged in anticompetitive practices.

Creating new products is important for Facebook as it integrates its apps — Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Facebook — and shifts away from public messaging and toward private communications. Those changes could eventually affect Facebook’s ad business, in which brands target promotions based on people’s public posts. Last year, advertising accounted for most of Facebook’s $56 billion in revenue.

A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on the NPE Team’s activities….[Read More]


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