Facebook step into the streaming and smart speaker markets with Portal

Facebook has entered into the streaming and smart speaker markets. The Portal and Portal+ devices saw the social media giant partner with Pandora, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

While the devices aren’t partnered with Amazon, they still utilise the company’s voice command software, Alexa.

Facebook just has entered into the streaming and smart speaker markets with the release of its new Portal and Portal+ devices.

The device’s biggest feature is technology that allows users to play music while on calls without any audio delay, and which syncs music between all the devices that are on a call, whether it be another Portal, a tablet or a phone.

Although Facebook was recently under fire for sketchy privacy practices, CEO Mark Zuckerberg assures users that the devices do not “listen to, view, or keep the contents of your Portal video calls.”

In addition, when it comes to privacy, company Vice President Rafa Camargo stated that, “People will have to make their choices,” even though a recent survey showed that only 28 per cent of 3,000 interviewed applicants believed Facebook was committed to privacy.

The company has said that the devices won’t directly use phone data for targeted advertisements, but it will record things like the times and lengths of calls. Camargo also said that the data could be used by Messenger to enhance users’ profiles.

In addition, Portal runs locally on the device, and not on Facebook. The device’s cameras do not use facial recognition so they won’t identify who you are.

New AI was also designed for the Portal to sense movement, zoom and adjust the frame accordingly so that you don’t have to.

With the new device, you can video call friends and loved ones through the Messenger App, and watch videos from a variety of shows such as the Food Network, Newsy and the Facebook Watch, the company’s own video stream.

When the device isn’t being used, it displays photos from your Facebook feed and can notify you about birthdays and other important dates.

Earlier this year, Facebook signed various licensing deals with companies like Warner Music and across Europe with PRO SACEM, SOCAN and Wixen.


Portal and Portal+ will launch in the US in November.