Facebook’s latest addition to their array of gadgets, Portal and Portal Plus are racking up quite the attention. However, many have chosen to focus more on privacy concerns.
The Facebook Portal and Portal Plus are hardware products under the tech giant. They can be used to call other Portal users or anyone who has Facebook or its Messenger application. With the ability to play music through online streaming services and to stream videos from Facebook Watch, the Portals are considered as rivals to Amazon’s Echo Show.
However, the main concern that was brought up by netizens surrounded privacy concerns regarding the products’ highlighted capabilities. Facebook highlighted that the cameras on the Portals will be able to “adjust” to movements, be it moving around the kitchen and this was followed by the camera’s ability to widen its focus as more people enter the room.
In recent times, Facebook’s streak with privacy issues have not been sitting too well with its users. One after the other, Facebook’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica and the recent security breach that exposed accounts of 50 million users may dampen initial approach towards the Portals.
Rafa Camargo, Vice President of the Portal hardware team said, “We made a choice not to offer certain things just to make sure people understood the focus on privacy on the device.” The statement that was seen to appease and sway potential buyers into buying the portals only brings up one question. Will Facebook users be convinced enough to give Zuckerberg another chance at redeeming himself?
Besides the trust deficit in the air, the Portal does not seem offer much more than video chatting, displaying a less ambitious move from Facebook in trying to breach the market. In an age where users craving everything to be packed into one, Portal might just seem nothing more than an expensive Secret Santa gift.