Survey Says

Facebook’s Growth Grinds to a Halt as Elderly Show Up in Droves

All these people are grandparents. (Pixabay)

It’s no secret that Facebook has long been having trouble recruiting younger users, and that it might have something to do with the ever-growing presence of olds on the social networking site. We just didn’t realize, until now, how many grandparents were on the site—and it’s more than we expected.

Pew Research today released its Social Media Update 2014, wherein they document the habits of the 81 percent of American adults who use the Internet (in other news, 19 percent of American adults don’t use the Internet, which makes us both confused and envious).

Fifty-six percent of adults aged 65 and over use Facebook, the survey found. That means 31 percent of all American seniors are on Facebook—or “The Facebook,” as we like to imagine they call it. Read More

Founder Fun

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Oculus Rift’s 22-Year-Old Founder

Palmer Luckey. (Wikipedia)

We hear a lot about virtual reality headset Oculus Rift—like that it was launched on Kickstarter, and subsequently acquired for $2.3 billion by Facebook—or that it can be used to transport users to some pretty neat artificial 3D environments.

But what we hear about less is Oculus Rift’s 22-year-old founder, Palmer Luckey, who’s not wild about press coverage and admits doesn’t want to be the face of his company like Steve Jobs was for Apple.

The Telegraph recently sat down with Mr. Luckey in his office—or, to be more accurate, “his own suite on the top floor of Facebook’s headquarters.” Here are some fun facts about Mr. Palmer: Read More

Happy New Year

Breaking Betabeat News of 2014: What You May Have Missed in the Tech Blogosphere

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That’s it, folks. Dig out the noisemakers, throw on some sequins and pop the champagne because 2014 is coming to an end.

But before the ball drops, there are a few things one must do to properly prepare for the new year—create a list of resolutions (i.e. “go to the gym”), watch the latest United States of Pop video and catch up on the tech news of the passing year, to name a few. With the latter in mind, we’ve created a guide to Betabeat’s biggest breaking news of 2014.

Yes, Facebook manipulated your emotions, curved TVs drove us wild and a “potato salad guy” achieved Internet celebrity status. We’re sure Twitter told you all this, so rather than summing up what made the tech blogosphere rounds this year, we’re offering a collection of the biggest and most interesting stories brought to you by yours truly, Betabeat. Read More

Web Series

New Video Skewers All Your Melodramatic, Vague Facebook Statuses

Sammantha Anderson, accused "Vaguebooker." (Above Average)

As anyone with angst-ridden Facebook friends knows, there’s nothing more annoying than coming face-to-face with someone’s vague, depressing status updates.

“Life sux so much right now”; “Can’t believe u did this 2 me”—you know, the kind of statuses that don’t give you nearly enough information, but give you just enough dramatic details to make you desperate to know the full story of why Kaitlynne might “never get out of bed 4ever.” Read More

the robots are coming

Facebook’s Upcoming Artificial Intelligence Will ‘Mediate’ Your Online Activity

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The last time you posted a Facebook status, you were probably thinking, “Wow, I really wish I had an intelligent robot to make sure this post won’t come back around to haunt me.” No? Too bad.

Facebook is building an artificial intelligence program that will serve as a social media assistant—kind of like Clippy, the obnoxious Microsoft Read More

Ello

Mark Zuckerberg: Ello Will Fail, Can’t ‘Connect the World’ Without Being Free

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Ever since Ello blew up, people have called it the “Anti-Facebook” in order to best describe what it was, and Ello’s founders were happy to distance themselves from Facebook’s values. Finally, the great social media machine itself has turned toward Ello and issued its response.

In their latest gushing profile of Mark Zuckerberg this week, Time examined Facebook’s international strategy to bring the developing world online and link them into Facebook’s digital empire. Turns out, the subject of Ello is, according to Time, the only subject that causes Zuckerberg to lose his cool. From the profile: Read More

For the Love of God Think of the Interns

The Master List Of Tech Internship Salaries Revealed

(Data via Dan Zhang, Viz by Jack Smith IV)

Last week, we broke the news of a small list of what tech companies like Google, Facebook and Quora have been paying their interns. Turns out, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Betabeat has obtained a dataset that dwarfs that list, as well as any other collection of internship offers we could dig up. The list comes from submissions (see “Methodology” below) from kids who have received offers at companies like Uber, Palantir, LinkedIn, etc. We’ve scrubbed the list clean and built an interactive for your masochistic pleasure. Read More

For the Love of God Think of the Interns

Here’s What Tech Companies Pay Their Interns; Prepare to Cry

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When most kids decide on their summer internship, they have to ask themselves tough questions: Can I afford to take an unpaid internship? And which potential offer is most likely going to lead to a job down the road?

Young coders, however, are more likely to wonder if $20,000 for the summer is really that much better than $19,000.

When Jessica Shu, a 19-year-old wunderkind at Cornell, was weighing her options for the summer, she wanted to be damn sure of her options. After digging around Reddit, asking colleagues and messaging around, she compiled a list of what Silicon Valley’s hottest companies are offering their interns — or at least were last summer — and posted it to Hackathon Hackers, a student coder community. Read More

Privacy is Dead

People Trust Social Media Less Than Any Other Form of Communication

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No matter how much Facebook messes with our emotions and pressures us to give up our data to their advertisers, they’ve hardly done anything serious enough to drive us away. Most people trump it up to apathy — we don’t care how much we’re violated if we get to use the service for free. But a new study poses another possible answer.

Last week, Pew Research Center released a report on privacy in the “post-Snowden era” and how Americans see government surveillance, social media sites and advertisers. Unsurprisingly, 91 percent of everyone surveyed believe “consumers have lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies.” Read More