Social networking giant Facebook claims to have distributed $50 million worth of tools, services and other benefits to developers in the Asia Pacific region through its FbStart program. According to an ET report, this included $20 million worth of benefits to developers in India. Facebook mentions that over 70% of the developers on its platform come from outside the US.
As of now Facebook claims to have over 100 members as part of the FbStart program. The company mentions that it will hold events in 20 locations internationally, including Bangalore and Gurgaon in India, to encourage further adoption. Developers that have launched an app and developers that are yet to launch an app but are associated with one of Facebook’s venture capital, accelerator, or incubator partners, are eligible to apply for the program.
Facebook offers various tracks (Pre-launch, Bootstrap, Accelerate) and packages (Internet.org, Games) to developers that are selected. The developers are placed into the track most relevant at their stage of development, a factor decided by Facebook. Once accepted, developers will receive a set of free tools and services to help their development needs. The packages are offered as add-ons for specific types of developers, specifically developers developing game apps or Internet.org apps.
Note that the benefits of the program expire after 1 year of being accepted. As of now, Facebook claims to be working with Adobe, appmethod, GitHub, namecheap, stripe, proto, Parse, Salesforce, MailChimp, I.G. Advisors and zendesk among other partners to provide benefits for FbStart members.
Mobile ad revenues: The contribution of mobile advertising to Facebook’s ad revenues continued to increase: Around 76% of Facebook’s ad revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2015 were from mobile ads, up from 62% contribution in the same quarter last year and 73 % contribution in the preceding quarter. Facebook posted total ad revenues of around $3.83 billion for the quarter, up 43% year-on-year (YoY). This essentially means that Facebook generated mobile ad revenues of around $2.91 billion for the quarter.
Livestreaming app launch: Earlier this month, Facebook launched its own livestreaming service through its Facebook Mentions app which allows verified influencers and celebrities to engage with fans and audiences. Verified users could point their phone at themselves or something else, press a button and live stream to their followers on Facebook. Users watching the stream could comment, and the people creating the stream could see those comments in real time.
Buy button beta: In June, Facebook started testing a buy button for Shopify, a feature it extended to various business’ Facebook pages last month. The new feature would let retailers sell items directly through their business page, turning it into a partial ecommerce store. The buy feature would be visible to users even on mobile, where it would appear as the ‘shopping’ section on a separate tab along with other the options like timeline, about, photos etc.
Internet via satellites, lasers and drones: Last month, Facebook said that it was working on delivering internet globally via a bunch of drones, satellites and lasers. According to founder Mark Zuckerberg, internet signals would be beamed down from a plane or a satellite flying overhead, which would communicate to earth using accurate lasers to transfer data. Interestingly, by the end of the same month, Facebook said its drones with lasers were ready for real-world testing.