Jun 19, 2013

    Facebook to unveil 'big idea' tomorrow

    A MYSTERIOUS Facebook event set for tomorrow has sparked buzz that the leading social network could be adding video to the Instagram smartphone picture-sharing service.

    Facebook has invited the media to its headquarters in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park, where "a small team has been working on a big idea", but it remained hush about what will be unveiled.

    Online speculation on technology-news website TechCrunch and elsewhere has included the possibility that Instagram will start letting people share video snippets in a style similar to the hit Vine app, launched by Twitter in January.

    Perpetually-looping video clips of up to six seconds each can be shared using Vine, or easily embedded in "tweets" fired off on Twitter.

    Twitter, a popular messaging service, added Instagram-style smartphone photo-sharing features in December, after the Facebook-owned service made it impossible for Internet users to integrate its images into tweets.

    Previously, Instagram pictures shared in messages tweeted from smartphones could be viewed unaltered on Twitter.

    Facebook acquired Instagram last year. The price was originally pegged at US$1 billion (S$1.26 billion), but the final value was less because of a decline in the social network's share price.

    Other speculation on tomorrow's event has included talk that Facebook might launch an RSS reader, to woo fans of a similar service that Google will shut down at the end of this month.