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Introducing the First Cohort of the Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity Program

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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to expose the hard truth of the digital divide, bringing more people online to a faster internet is more important now than ever. Earlier this year, we announced our commitment to emerging startups that shared similar goals in addressing internet connectivity challenges by introducing the Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity program. This 12-week virtual program will help startups scale their business through industry-oriented training and workshops, access to experts, and potential strategic partners and investors. After months of sourcing and vetting, we are thrilled to announce the innovative startups that have been selected to participate in our inaugural connectivity cohort:

  • BandwidthX Inc.
    BandwidthX provides cloud services to unlock existing mobile capacity in single operator networks and across multiple independent networks, saving costs and improving performance.
  • Bridgefy
    Bridgefy increases engagement and revenue for tech companies by making mobile apps accessible without the need for an internet connection.
  • Cirrus360
    Toolchain that enables telecom operators to build a multi-vendor HW/SW disaggregated, secure, cost-effective, reliable open RAN infrastructure.
  • Clear Blue Technologies
    Clear Blue Technologies provides Smart Off-Grid power technology and Energy-as-a-Service for cost-efficient power that can be installed anywhere, managed over the internet, and deliver reliability and performance to help enable the world’s internet connectivity.
  • Connecting Company
    Connecting Company is bringing accessible and quality internet to rural communities through a self-sustaining system.
  • Crunch Mediaworks
    Crunch takes low resolution, distorted videos with missing frames, and converts them into a smooth, high definition video during playback.
  • eino
    A decision making platform for 5G capital planning.
  • Equal Access Santa Cruz
    EASC’s goal is to bridge the digital divide and bring true high-speed broadband to every family in Santa Cruz County.
  • FreedomFi
    FreedomFi builds cost efficient cellular networks using open source software and commodity hardware.
  • Galgus
    Galgus’s mission is to unleash the full potential of Wi-Fi networks for optimization, management, analytics, and security.
  • GenXComm, Inc.
    (Private) 5G/LTE: Enabling reliable, interference-free 5G/LTE-mesh networking for operators and enterprises
  • Metawave Corporation
    Metawave is advancing automotive radar sensing and boosting 5G mm-wave coverage with its all-analog platforms.
  • NetExperience
    Software platform to control, manage and automate disaggregated Wi-Fi networks compatible with Telecom Infra Project Open Wi-Fi architecture,
  • Netwey
    Netwey is a telecom operator addressing the digital divide through a model that focuses on availability and affordability.
  • Plexus Controls Inc.
    Plexus Controls is a developer and manufacturer of wireless sensor systems, autonomous robotic and drone platforms.
  • Plumeria Networks Inc.
    Plumeria Networks eliminates expenses for enterprise Wi-Fi by using software defined wireless and smart algorithms, on top of commoditization of the hardware, to reduce customer costs.
  • Radio Innovation
    Delivering affordable mobile Internet thus eliminating digital literacy and helping mobile operators improve coverage, data rates, capacity and profitability primarily in emerging markets.
  • Robin
    Robin’s cloud-native infrastructure and automation solutions enables mobile operators to transform their networks to support the next generation of services, including 5G.
  • Tanaza
    Tanaza offers a flexible cloud-based platform to efficiently operate Wi-Fi networks and democratize connectivity.
  • Whitestack
    Whitestack provides efficient connectivity and cloud infrastructure to operators around the world, leveraging open technologies.

The program officially kicks off on November 9th, at which point the startups will begin to meet industry experts, get to network amongst themselves, and join a workshop where they will learn about partnering with Facebook Connectivity and how to make the most of the program. The program will conclude with a demo day in February, giving these startups the opportunity to showcase their work to date. At Facebook, we understand the importance of investing in the next generation of innovators and partners that bring us closer to a more connected world. We’re so excited to see the impact that startups will make through the program. Congratulations to all of our 2020 startups!

To continue to stay up to date on Facebook startup programs launching check out developers.facebook.com/startups and follow @FacebookforStartups.

Facebook Developers

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Upcoming Changes to the Messenger API

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As part of our efforts to update our messaging products in response to new privacy rules in Europe, we are making changes that will impact some developers and businesses using apps enabled by the Messenger API.

What’s changing?

Beginning December 16, 2020, several Messenger API features will no longer be available for developers and businesses in Europe, and for people in Europe who connect with businesses on Messenger and Instagram globally.

Examples of some features that will no longer be available via Messenger API include:

  • Persistent menu
  • One-Time Notification
  • Some templates (e.g. Airline, Receipt) and audio/video attachments
  • Some templates and buttons on web (e.g. Generic, Button)

These features will continue to be available:

  • Sending and receiving text messages and images
  • Get Started button
  • Ice breakers and quick replies
  • Generic template, button template, and media template on Android and iOS only
  • URL button, postback button, call button on Android and iOS only
  • Private replies, m.me links and the Message Us plugin
  • Webview
  • Handover Protocol for Messenger

Relatedly, developers that also use the Instagram Graph API will see some metrics are no longer available. You can see more details here.

What this means for developers

APIs and UI components of the Messenger platform listed above will be unavailable to businesses in Europe in all chats, and to global businesses in chats with people in Europe. Before these changes go live on December 16, we encourage developers to update their experiences that could be affected by these changes – such as those that power Pages in Europe or Pages that receive a significant volume of messages from people in Europe – to use available features instead. For more details on what is changing, please refer to the developer documentation.

We recognize that compliance requires changes to our product experiences, and we’re committed to supporting our partners throughout this process. We’re working hard to bring features back and will provide an update if and when these features are made available again in the future.

Facebook Developers

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ELI5: Docusaurus – Making Documentation Easy

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In this post, we will briefly talk about Docusaurus, a website building tool that makes it easy to develop, maintain and deploy a documentation site. If you prefer to learn about Docusaurus in a short video rather than a blog post, go to the Facebook Open Source YouTube channel to watch another episode of ELI5.

Why Docusaurus?

The top open source projects on GitHub have their own documentation sites that contain an overview of the project, short getting started guides, in-depth tutorials and project blogs. These resources are key to the success of any open source project, but building, managing and deploying them can be a lot of work. Unless you’re using Docusaurus.

Docusaurus is an open source project for building, deploying and maintaining websites. This project’s main goal is to get you started with your website in a matter of seconds. Beyond creating the site, Docusaurus emphasizes speed of both developer and end users by following the PRPL pattern and by relying on an incremental build for content changes.

Docusaurus allows developers to use tools they already know like Markdown or MDX to write documentation or blogs. With React as the backbone of Docusaurus, developers can customize their website to fit their use case.

This website building tool also comes with search and localization features. Projects built with Docusaurus leverage Algolia for a built in search engine and Crowdin for language support.

The cherry on top is that you don’t have to manually update your documentation every time you update your code. Docusaurus automatically syncs docs to project releases so that you can spend more of your time working on the things you care about.

Where is it used?

Docusaurus was first released to the public by the Facebook Open Source team in 2017. Since then, this project has been used by a large number of the Facebook open source projects and by over 100 external projects.

Where can I learn more?

Want to learn more about Docusaurus? You can find extensive documentation and tutorials covering a wide range of topics on building and customizing your site. If you want to engage with the community, feel free to join the Discord channel or talk to the team on Twitter.

If you want to see more content about Docusaurus, let us know on our YouTube channel, or by tweeting at us.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (~1 min in length), one of our Developer Advocates on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook open source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

We will write an accompanying blog post (like the one you’re reading right now) for each of these videos, which you can find on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our open source site, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook Developers

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2020 Developer Circles Community Challenge regional winners announced

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It’s often said that one of the best ways to learn is to become the teacher. That’s why, for this year’s Developer Circles Community Challenge, we invited developers and creators to put an innovative spin on technical education by creating tutorials that showcase the capabilities of Facebook technologies.

Participants created step-by-step written tutorials that demonstrated one or more features of open source tools including Hack, React, React Native, PyTorch and Docusaurus; as well as products including Messenger, Spark AR and Wit.ai.

For their efforts, we offered cash prizes, as well as the opportunity to have their tutorials credited and shared with fellow innovators across the Facebook ecosystem.

Our regional winners

As our first step in deciding the overall winners, we’re very excited to announce our regional winners today.

The teams behind the below inspiring tutorials have each won a US$2,000 cash prize, and will also be invited to make further enhancements to their projects by Monday November 30, in order to have a chance at the global prizes announced in mid-December.

Asia Pacific

Intermediate/ Advanced

Create Smarter Messenger Experiences on Facebook with Bright
Messenger, Wit.AI

Covid Center Bot (Intermediate)
Messenger, Wit.AI

It’s Now Winter — AR Pop-up Card Tutorial Series
Spark AR

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Chatbot Messenger
React, Messenger, Wit.AI

Spark AR Promo Card Filter Tutorial
Spark AR

IndoNLU: Finetuning Tutorial IndoBERT using PyTorch
PyTorch, Docusaurus

Europe

Intermediate/Advanced

How to make Smoke in Spark AR
Spark AR

Creating colliders with Scripting – Spark AR
Spark AR

DIY Alexa With the ESP32 and Wit.ai
Wit.AI

Beginner

Calendar buddy
React, Wit.AI

Spark AR – Audio Visualizer Tutorial
Spark AR

React Custom Animation Hooks Tutorial
React

India

Intermediate/ Advanced

Shockwave
Spark AR

Reactode
React

Transfer Learning Model hosted on Heroku using React & Flask
React, PyTorch

Beginner

ReactNative Tutor ( Learn React Native On the Go )
React Native

Making Conversational Android Apps with Wit.ai
Wit.AI

DevCoder
Wit.AI

Latin America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Updating the Authorization header with Observables
React

Use data from Facebook API in Messenger Bots
Messenger

Manipulating Multiple Scene Objects with Scripts in Spark AR
Spark AR

Beginner

Create a serverless Messenger bot with Wit.ai
Messenger, Wit.AI

Documenting with Docusaurus Version 2 for beginners
Docusaurus

Spark AR – Art Series
Spark AR

Middle East and North Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

violence Detection in videos using CNN + LSTM
PyTorch

360 Tours
React

Beginner

Messenger Platform Tutorial (TDD Approach)
Messenger

Customer Service Messenger Bot
Messenger, Wit.ai

Build an Encryptor/Decryptor Chatbot on Messenger using Wit
Messenger, Wit.ai

North America

Intermediate/ Advanced

Your Claw Machine
Spark AR

Wit.ai CI and CLI
Wit.ai

Job Finder Bot tutorial
PyTorch

Beginner

Pneumonet-Building an AI COVID-19 Product with Pytorch
Messenger, Wit.ai

Chatbot for Class
React, Docusaurus

Getting Started with React Hooks: useState and useEffect
React

Sub-Saharan Africa

Intermediate/ Advanced

Rabbit Coder (Spark AR Tutorial)
Spark AR

Pytorch For Information Extraction
PyTorch

Architecting and Designing a React Native Application
React Native

Beginner

Wiki Education
Messenger, Wit.ai

Live Chess
React, Docusaurus

Fruit Classifier
PyTorch, Messenger

Our local language winners

In acknowledgment of our diverse, global community, we’re also pleased to offer a set of special local language prizes for the first time. The below winning tutorials have each won a US$1,500 prize.

Arabic

Intermediate/ Advanced

Violence Detection in videos
PyTorch

Beginner

Adding Drag & Drop to React components
React, Docusaurus

French

Intermediate/ Advanced

Systeme De Reconnaissance Du Cache Nez
PyTorch

Beginner

Learn the basics of Spark AR by creating your FanMask filter
Spark AR

Indonesian

Intermediate/ Advanced

Gameo
React, PyTorch, Docusaurus

Beginner

HayWord | Case Study for Making Real Word Messenger Apps
React, Messenger, Wit.ai

Spanish

Intermediate/ Advanced

Chatbots As A Service con Messenger Platform
Messenger

Beginner

Tutorial web voice control using Wit.ai
Wit.ai

New building opportunities coming soon

Congratulations to all of these trail-blazing winners, and to everyone who took part in the Challenge. Stay tuned to our Facebook Developer Circles page for more information on our global winners announcement in December!

We’ll also be hosting a range of challenges including hackathons, as well as product immersion opportunities, for developers and creators in 2021. Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter to be among the first to know about these initiatives.

Stay safe and we can’t wait to continue supporting you as you #BuildwithFacebook.

Facebook Developers

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