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Facebook Portal is a video-based messaging device created by American social-networking company Facebook. The Portal comes in two screen sizes, the Portal and the larger-screen Portal+; however, both feature similar functionality, providing users with a screen, microphone and camera that allows them to communicate with other Portal users. Additionally, the machine features access to a variety of non-chat based applications.
On October 5th, 2018, the product's official Facebook page posted a introductory video for the Portal. In the video, the various features and uses of the device are displayed and instruct potential customers to visit portal.facebook.com. The post received more than 1,800 views in three days (shown below).
Three days later, Facebook revealed more information on the Facebook Portal, including screen size and price and Amazon Alexa compatibility, which comes standard on the device. According to the post, the Portal comes in two sizes, the Portal (10-inch 1280 × 800 display) and the Portal+ (15-inch 1920 × 1080). Additionally, the post shares, more specifically, how the device works, including information on the Smart Camera and Smart Microphone. They write, "Smart Camera stays with the action and automatically pans and zooms to keep everyone in view. Smart Sound minimizes background noise and enhances the voice of whoever is talking, no matter where they move. It’s like having your own cinematographer and sound crew direct your personal video calls."
In their introduction of the device, The Verge noted that the device may face security concerns. They wrote:
"Still, the idea of putting a Facebook-connected camera and microphone into your home is likely to give many consumers pause. A majority of Americans say they don’t trust the company very much or at all, and the Portal’s launch was delayed in hopes it could escape the long shadow of the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal.
"Facebook’s Portal team recognizes that they have a trust deficit with consumers. Both devices come with a camera cover, and they both have a button that completely turns off the mic and camera. Facebook says this doesn’t just deactivate the mic and camera, but physically cuts the circuit to prevent hacking attempts."
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