What marketers are saying about Facebook’s new Portal video chat devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Facebook Introduces AR Enhanced Video Calling Devices

Since Amazon Echo's release almost four years ago, both Google and Apple have followed Amazon in releasing smart speakers designed for use with their other digital services - some of them, at least. On the heels of last week's new Nearby Friends mapping feature announcement, Facebook revealed that they're following the leads of other tech giants such as Google and Snapchat and expanding into the hardware market with the announcement of their new Facebook video camera. The idea is you'll use Portal's microphones and camera to make Facebook-enabled video calls.

Portal will not display Facebook ads "at this time", the company said, although it noted that third-party services such as music streaming might embed their own ads the same way they do on other devices.

Available in two size options, the base Portal device comes with a 10-inch 720p display and is priced $199.

Now gadgets available for pre-order in the United States, and the mass deliveries will begin in November. Your Portal conversations stay between you and the people you're calling. However, the social network may have announced the Amazon Echo Show challenger at a bad time.

The camera is created to crop users into the frame and can detect when there are multiple people in the room and frame accordingly.

And it's also not encouraging that the only way to log in to a Portal device is by using your Facebook credentials considering that 50 million accounts were recently compromised. Now Facebook are hoping to let friends and family feel closer with the introduction of Portal and Portal+. In addition, it supported voice control with Amazon Alexa.

Facebook assures those interested that the Portal devices are "built with privacy and security in mind". The company has been working on video conference hardware for some time but made a decision to put the project on hold earlier this year because of public outrage about Facebook's data-privacy practices.

The marketing opportunities for Facebook's Portal are unclear, given that the devices now don't have ads, but the company notes that advertisers can reach Portal users with ad inserts in third-party video programming, per Facebook's Portal privacy page. The front camera is 12MP and the large HD screen allows the user to see the other person or people at the opposite end of the call.

When the Portal device is not making a call, it can use the Superframe function to display photos and videos as well as important notifications such as birthday reminders. That launch was postponed in lieu of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Most of the world immediately dismissed the product due to privacy concerns, but I take a different view, I understand we already have devices with Facebook on (via browser or mobile app), so there's a level of trust already established, adding a dedicated hardware device is no different in my eyes.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.