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Who is WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum?

WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum isn't what you'd call a bragger, but he has plenty to boast about.

In just five years, Koum and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton have created one of the world's largest messaging apps -- an app that Facebook just agreed to buy for $16 billion, plus an additional $3 billion in stock options that will vest over the next several years.

With the acquisition, Koum, 38, will join Facebook's board of directors, but WhatsApp will remain autonomous and independent from the social network, much like Instagram. Koum wrote in a blog postRead more

WhatsApp: Don't sweat, Facebook buy won't change us

It'll be like this $16 billion deal never even happened.

At least, that's according to a blog post on Wednesday from WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, reassuring customers that despite Facebook's acquisition of the company, nothing about the service will change.

"Here's what will change for you, our users: nothing," the post said.

WhatsApp will operate independently, reiterating what Facebook also said in its announcement. The service won't have any ads interrupting your communication. People will still be able to pay a small fee to use the service.

"There would have been no … Read more

Facebook to acquire WhatsApp for $16B

Facebook said Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire WhatsApp in a $16 billion cash and stock arrangement with the popular messaging application's parent company. The announcement was made in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The deal for WhatsApp includes 183,865,778 shares of Facebook stock, valued at $12 billion, along with $4 billion in cash. Once the acquisition closes, Facebook has promised to grant 45,966,444 restricted stock units (RSUs) to WhatsApp founders and employees, tacking on an additional $3 billion in value to the deal, bringing the total value of the acquisition … Read more

How to refresh your News Feed in Facebook Paper

For me, the main appeal of Facebook Paper is the way it presents my News Feed. One of the issues I've always had with it is the lack of pull-to-refresh to force my feed to reload.

As it turns out, the pull-to-refresh feature is present, but doesn't work when you pull down on your feed. You probably have already noticed that pulling down when viewing your feed will open the app's menu.

But if you pull to the right on the image at the top of your feed, upon release it will refresh your feed.

If there … Read more

Comcast-Time Warner deal riles up consumers

CNET Update is more everything:

In this episode of Update:

- Get a quick summary of why many folks are not happy with Comcast's deal to acquire Time Warner Cable.

- See if Verizon's new "More Everything" plan is a good deal for you.

- Keep an eye out for an Xbox One Media Remote to go on sale in March.

- Find more Windows apps to download if Microsoft makes it easier for developers.

- Go by more than just male or female on Facebook, now that the social network opened up more gender identification options. … Read more

Facebook expands gender options for user profiles

Facebook recognizes that not everybody identifies themselves simply as a "male" or "female," so it's added the ability for users to identify themselves with a range of labels, including "other."

People can now select a custom gender identification, the pronoun they would like to be referred to publicly, and who can see their gender selection, Facebook announced Thursday. Your About page will now include options like "cisgender," "transgender," and "intersex," in addition to the previous "male" and "female" options.

You can also select … Read more

Advocacy group files appeal against Facebook privacy settlement

In August, Facebook settled a highly publicized class action lawsuit that took issue with the social network's use of people's names and photos in advertisements.

A lot has happened since the suit was first filed in 2011: The company paid $20 million, and the ad units in question, Sponsored Stories, will be retired. But the practice of having users appear in ads because they "liked" or commented on a piece of content -- the act that was so controversial -- is still in place at Facebook.

And some critics still have issue with a specific point … Read more

Facebook crowdsourcing gives lonely boy 1.4 million friends

Being 10-years-old is hard enough -- and add in an isolating syndrome like Asperger's and making friends can be even more difficult.

Such is the case of Colin. He is a 10-year-old boy who lives in Michigan and is on the lower end of the autism spectrum. Despite his efforts to make friends, he is usually made fun of and eats his lunch in the school office because other kids won't let him sit at their tables, according to his mother.

When Colin's mother, Jennifer Cunningham, asked him if he wanted a birthday party, he responded that there wasn't any point because he didn't have friends. That's when she decided to surprise him by creating a "Happy Birthday Colin" Facebook page. … Read more

Facebook: 200M people have watched their Look Back videos

For its 10th anniversary, Facebook gave each of its members a one-minute video set to music that featured their top social-networking moments. The company said Tuesday that nearly 200 million people have watched their "Look Back" videos.

The revelation came from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, on Tuesday evening during a question-and-answer session at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference.

"It was amazing," Sandberg said of the response to Look Back. "Almost 200 million people watched [their Look Back video], and 50 percent of people who watched their own video, shared it. … Read more

Ski resort mocks techies, then acts like one of them

There's a certain sense that those who work at Google, Twitter, and Facebook aren't entirely welcome in the Bay Area.

Their alleged wealth and callousness toward the rest of humanity makes them unappealing neighbors or even drinking companions.

The folks at North Lake Tahoe thought they would educate them on human behavior, should these numbskulled ingrates wander toward its snowy slopes.

As Skift reports, North Lake Tahoe's Tourist Board decided to release an Apres-Ski e-book in order to help those who might not be used to behaving appropriately when among mountain folk.

Skift tells me that this … Read more