Connect with us


Facebook’s quest for wearable tech superpowers and the curse of the ‘glassholes’



Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of the Insider Tech newsletter, where we break down the biggest news in tech, including:

I’m your host Alexei Oreskovic. Hit me up with your thoughts, tips, rants and raves at

Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

Soundtrack: This week’s newsletter has been specially designed to be consumed while listening to DEVO’s “Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA”

This week: Facebook’s quest for wearable tech superpowers and the curse of the “glassholes”

Marc Andreessen Google Glass

Google Glass circa 2013

Glass Collective

Remember the “glassholes,” those idealistic, starry-eyed pioneers of wearable tech who enlisted to be Google’s Glass guinea pigs in 2013 only to be greeted by the public with derision and hostility?

In the years since that fiasco, wearable tech has steered clear of sci-fi stylings and worked on improving familiar products that consumers are already comfortable with: Snap made relatively normal-looking sunglasses with a built-in camera and Apple focused on wireless earbuds and a wristwatch

It’s been working. Apple’s gadgets now dominate the wearables business, accounting for 36% of the market in the last quarter of 2020. But sure enough, with sales of these ordinary-looking wearables growing, tech companies are getting excited and drifting into sci-fi territory again. 

free widgets for website
  • Facebook showed off a neural bracelet prototype this week that reads motor signals for hand movements you intend to make, allowing you to control a computer with your brain (while wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses of course). “It’s sort of like having a superpower like the Force,” Facebook promises. 
  • Google is working on secret project code-named Wolverine, as Insider’s Hugh Langley exclusively reported this month. The gadget, a sensor-packed device that can be worn near or in your ears, would deliver “hearing superpowers” like the ability to tune different speakers in or out in a crowded room. 
  • And Apple is working on a virtual reality headset that The Information reports includes dozens of cameras to track hand movement as well as an 8K display and support for advanced eye tracking.

Will any of these futuristic doodads catch on? It’s generally not wise to bet against technological progress, even when the ideas initially seem silly, ugly or just unnecessary. Clunky and rudimentary smartphones were around for at least a decade before Steve Jobs finally cracked the code with the iPhone in 2007. 

This next generation of wearables being cooked up in the labs by Big Tech will probably fall short of the mark. But eventually someone will figure out how to make brain-reading headsets that actually work and that don’t look ridiculous — and like it or not, we’ll all be glassholes some day.

Welcome to the Elon Economy

elon musk dogecoin pumping stocks 4x3

Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images; Britta Pedersen-Pool/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Insider

For someone who is the CEO of several companies, Elon Musk manages to find a lot of time to tweet. And as Becky Peterson writes, those tweets have become an economic force of their own.

A loyal crowd of the celebrity CEO’s fans, many of whom will never buy anything produced or sold by one of Musk’s companies, treat his frequent tweets as inspiring calls to action, sending ripples of demand in the direction of whatever Musk mentions.

free widgets for website

This year alone, Musk’s tweets have spiked the price of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin and have contributed to a massive surge in downloads of the encrypted messaging app Signal. He has spurred a global arms race to develop carbon-capture technologies and has left superfans straining to decipher absurdist puns in search of hidden financial advice.

The result is a spontaneous and unpredictable market that ebbs and flows according to Musk’s musings, often with dramatic results. The phenomenon has invigorated Musk’s followers, incentivized opportunists, and exasperated those who see reckless speculation in the personality-driven marketplace.

Read the full story here:

Quote of the week:

“At the outset of the pandemic, none of us knew how long this would last, and we kind of just threw our laptop on the kitchen table, and a couple of months in, we’re like: ‘Wow, I need to find a way to structure this for myself, and learn how to unplug.’”

— Laura Mae Martin, Google’s in-house executive productivity advisor, on the importance of setting boundaries while working from home and structuring no-tech time into the day.

Google's Executive Productivity Advisor Laura Mae Martin

free widgets for website

Google’s executive productivity advisor Laura Mae Martin


NDA callout 4x3

iStock; Insider

Insider is working on a first-of-its-kind reporting project examining the role of non-disclosure agreements in forming Silicon Valley’s culture of secrecy. The documents themselves, combined with stories we are hearing from sources about the culture surrounding NDAs at their workplace, will serve as the foundation from which we tell the definitive story of how money and power enforced silence across an entire industry.

Want to participate in our reporting process? Please consider sending us a copy of your NDA.

Click here for all the details on how to participate.

Recommended Readings:

China’s tech giants are exploring a way around Apple’s privacy changes, and the move could have major implications for Apple’s relationship with a crucial market

free widgets for website

I tried Starlink, Elon Musk’s satellite-internet project, for 3 weeks after moving to rural Vermont. It’s a game changer.

Amazon’s ‘underappreciated’ B2B unit is on pace to become an $80 billion marketplace. And execs from Citi to Uber are praising it this week.

How the Collison brothers built Stripe into Silicon Valley’s most valuable startup and became 2 of the youngest billionaires alive

Not necessarily in tech:

A woman featured on YouTube star David Dobrik’s channel says she was raped by a Vlog Squad member in 2018 the night they filmed a video about group sex

Thanks for reading, and if you like this newsletter, tell your friends and colleagues they can sign up here to receive it.

free widgets for website

— Alexei

Read More

free widgets for website
See also  Indian Army sources say the ban on use of Facebook and Instagram by the forces has been ...
Continue Reading
Advertisement free widgets for website
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0





Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.

For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.

General Updates

Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting

As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.

We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.

This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.

free widgets for website

Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API

Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.

With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.

See also  Facebook serial rapist gets 8 life sentences and 223 years behind bars

Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.

Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads

  • Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads

    Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
  • Re-Launching Call Ads via API

    On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.

    Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.

Deprecations & Breaking Changes

Graph API changes for user granular permission feature

We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:

  • Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
  • Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account

With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).

The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.

free widgets for website

Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights

Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.

This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.

After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.

We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.

Please review the media insights and user insights developer documentation to learn more.

free widgets for website

Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints

Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.

API Version Deprecations:

As part of Facebook’s versioning schedule for Graph API and Marketing API, please note the upcoming deprecations:

Graph API

  • September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

Marketing API

  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
  • February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform

To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.

Facebook Platform SDK

As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:

  • October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
  • February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset

First seen at

See also  Israel eyes making Facebook legally liable for content on its platform – report | The Times of Israel
Continue Reading


Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)





Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.

After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.

We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.

Please review the developer documentation to learn more.

First seen at

free widgets for website
See also  Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is Zigging Where it Should be Zagging - Yahoo Finance
Continue Reading


Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers





We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.

FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.

FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.

Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.


If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.

free widgets for website

Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.

Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.

First seen at

See also  Why Mark Zuckerberg is going meta
Continue Reading