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Facebook Portal Go: the Social Media Giant’s Next Gen of Video Chatting

Facebook Portal
Mark Zuckerberg announced a new generation of Facebook Portals today on a livestream. Credit: Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg debuted the newest generation of Facebook Portal video chatting devices on Tuesday on a livestream hosted by the social media juggernaut.

The new Portal “Go” and Portal+ devices feature an array of new built-in features, including Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. The two new devices will retail for $199 and $349. The portal Go has been redesigned with a compact 10-inch screen as well as an improved, standalone battery. The Portal Plus further refines the original 14-inch Portal introduced three years ago. You can preorder both models as of today and they will begin shipping on October 19.

This is the first rejuvenation of Facebook’s Portal line of devices since 2019. The Portal Go boasts a wide-angle camera lens that senses movement in its frame and automatically follows the subject, panning and zooming in on their behavior while keeping them in focus.

Previous Portals have had to be constantly connected to a power source — the Go is the first device of its kind to have an independent battery source embedded in the device. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and supports music streaming platforms like Spotify.

Will Portal has a helpful list of additional features like built-in Alexa, Bluetooth support, and the ability to sync with Google, the device’s central focus stays the same: video chatting. The product’s improved sophistication in the realms of camera angle, lens, focus and motion capture along with battery life, are all at the service of the video call experience.

Portals are also able to connect video calls with other devices using Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp platforms as well as Zoom.

Facebook’s Portal one of many expansions for the company

Facebook has steadily expanded beyond the realm of social media and networking apps in the last few years. The company also plans to release a cryptocurrency coin called Diem.

Zuckerberg said that Diem’s users will transfer money just like they send each other their photos of a party. The revised digital currency product Diem is specially designed for users to transfer money for a cheaper fee, easily.

This ease of use will attract more potential users to the social networking site as well, he hopes. There is also another new subsidiary of Facebook that works as a digital wallet, called Novi, providing affordable access to certain financial services. Facebook will be one of the 26 investors with the same roles and responsibilities as the other investors, such as Shopify, Spotify, Uber and Lyft.

The blockchain will allow for real-time transfer of Diem Stablecoins. The cryptocurrency plans to register as a money services business with the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the group said.

Stablecoins are digital currencies pegged to a fiat currency. California-based Silvergate Bank will issue the Diem USD Stablecoin. Silvergate will manage the Diem USD reserve. Diem said it would launch a pilot of the Stablecoin.


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