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Facebook’s Blockchain Division Has a New Director of Engineering

Blockchain, a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded, is the next big thing

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Facebook testing 'LOL' app to woo kids, experts wary. Pixabay

Facebook has promoted one of its senior engineers Evan Cheng as the Director of Engineering at its recently launched Blockchain division, signalling the importance of the project, the media reported.

Cheng is also listed as an advisor to blockchain startups and projects Zilliqa and ChainLink, the TechCrunch reported.

Earlier in May, Facebook had set up a group within the company to explore blockchain technology and its potential use for the platform, headed by long time Messenger chief David Marcus.

However, the latest executive reshuffle appears to point to the social networking giant getting more serious about developing on top of blockchain technology.

Besides Cheng, the tech giant has also promoted Kevin Weil, former vice president of product at Instagram, as the vice president of product at their Blockchain division, the report said.

Facebook mobile app
Facebook mobile app. Pixabay

“It means it’s not just an exploratory project”, is how one source who tracks the blockchain space speculatively, described Cheng’s move to Facebook’s blockchain team, the report said.

Recruiting Cheng to the blockchain group signals the importance of the project, the source said.

According to his LinkedIn page, Cheng has been employed at Facebook since November 2015 and has been working at their Programming Languages and Runtimes, a position he held for nearly three years.

He also worked at Apple for over 10 years and is credited as one of the inventors of LLVM — a compiler that generates the low-level machine code for Apple devices.

Also Read: Facebook Shuts Down Three of its Apps

Blockchain, a digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are recorded, is the next big thing.

Although Facebook has not announced any plans about how they would use blockchain technology on their platform, it is clear they are pursuing this technology with interest. In the light of the data crises faced by Facebook, it is going to be interesting to see how they utilize this technology to improve their services, the CCN reported. (IANS)

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Local News Dry up for Facebook Media Project in US

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms

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A photo shows the Facebook app icon on an iPhone in New York, Feb. 19, 2014. VOA

Facebook is having trouble finding enough local news to feed its new journalism initiative, because hundreds of newspapers have shut down in the US.

“About one in three users in the US live in places where we cannot find enough local news on Facebook to launch ‘Today In’,” Facebook wrote in a blog post on Monday.

In those “news deserts” – communities with little or no local reporting – Facebook hasn’t been able to find “five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns” for its news feature “Today In” that was launched in November last year.

“In the last 28 days, there has not been a single day where we’ve been able to find five or more recent news articles directly related to these towns.

“This does not vary much by region: 35 per cent of users in the Midwest, Northeast, and South — and 26 per cent in the West a” live in places where we can’t find much local newson Facebook,” said the social networking company.

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“Today In” has been rolled out to over 400 cities in the US.

“We’re also announcing a new pilot programme, the Facebook Journalism Project Community Network, to support projects aimed at building community through local news,” said Facebook.

Also Read- Dell and Alienware to Launch New PC Gaming Devices to India

According to Engadget, nearly 1,800 papers have shut down in the US since around the time Facebook came online 15 years ago.

In January this year, the Facebook Journalism Project announced to invest $300 million in local newsrooms. (IANS)