Facebook Portal, the Social network is expanding it’s horizons into the video chat hardware sector with a bang and onto the your living room TV set
The TV device along with new Portals all have Facebook’s AU-powered proprietary camera – thus is unlike a traditional webcam, can follow you around the home, “giving you the freedom to move around during calls and still be seen and heard,” Facebook said.
Facebook has added the ability to make calls via popular calling texting app WhatsApp, in addition to Facebook Messenger, which initially was the only option. As with the 2018 editions, users can watch video from Amazon Prime Video, Showtime, CBS All Access, Starz and Pluto TV. Music is available from Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio.
Facebook users have the ability to say no to Facebook and turn down the audio monitoring. The social network sends people concerned with its privacy issues to portal.facebook.com/privacy.
The first Portal units didn’t find much success in a market dominated by Amazon and the Ad giant Google. According to market researcher Canalys, Facebook shipped about 6.6 million smart speakers in the second quarter of this year, compared with 4.3 million Google Home products. Neither the Facebook Portal nor Apple’s HomePod sold enough to make Canalys’ charts.
Facebook also stated in a company blog post that when the unit is awakened with the “Hey, Portal” command, it will respond by recording your query and making a transcription. “A trained team may review a sample to make our voice services smarter and more accurate for everyone,” Facebook said.
Having Facebook contrive even more monitoring of users may make some uneasy since the network is known for tracking software to sell advertisers targeted ads. The Social Media giant will continue to expand it’s presence, albeit will it succeed in this new venture, only time will tell.