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Facebook Tracker: Taller, Wider, Smarter

FB Messenger Hits A Billion

Facebook adds 33 stories of San Francisco office space and a 4,000-mile trans-Atlantic cable to its assets. Plus, the social media giant gets smarter about ads and M, the Messenger bot, driving its monetization strategy forward. Finally, see which class action lawsuit CEO Mark Zuckerberg dodged at the last minute — all in this week’s Facebook tracker.

Ad Addition

Facebook is now allowing U.S. users to revisit ads they clicked, liked, shared, saved or commented on within the last three months through a new Recent Ad Activity bookmark in the platform’s sidebar. Few of us are born with a total immunity to advertising, so when an ad does resonate, it’s a big help to be able to find it again without scouring a search engine for a campaign that may not even be running anymore.

Not to mention, as TechCrunch notes, keeping those users on Facebook rather than letting them slip away to a Google search gives Facebook the credit for delivering the conversion — a powerful metric to have when the social media giant wants to convince advertisers to spend more.

San Francisco Office

Instead of bringing thousands of employees to work in its Menlo Park headquarters each day, Facebook is bringing work to its employees. The social media giant is currently shuttling team members back and forth from San Francisco, but will soon have a base of operations right in the city’s financial district, Business Insider reports.

Facebook has signed a lease at the to-be-completed, 70-story, 181 Fremont skyscraper, which will be the West Coast’s tallest residential building once completed (the upper stories, we should note, hold 67 luxury condo units). Facebook and Instagram will occupy 33 floors, or 436,000-square-feet of the office space. Business Insider estimates the lease cost Facebook approximately $35 million.

“M” Is For “More Features”

Facebook’s Messenger bot M has learned some new tricks. Last week, M started making automated suggestions that users discussing new movies purchase tickets to see the show. Specifically, M reroutes the user through the Fandango chat extension, where they can find show times, watch trailers and purchase tickets to their local theaters. M has also learned to suggest GIFs and “quick replies,” similar to the predictive keyboard in iMessage and other texting platforms.

Cable Plan

Together with Microsoft and Telxius, the global telecommunication infrastructure company, Facebook has helped to complete the world’s most powerful undersea cable to date. The Marea subsea cable spans more than 4,000 miles at depths exceeding 17,000 feet beneath the sea. It weighs more than 10 million pounds and can transmit 160 terabits of data per second — a speed 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection, Microsoft noted.

Digital services are projected to grow eight-fold by 2025. With video services on the rise, the high-volume capacity and high-bandwidth infrastructure will definitely come in handy over the next several years, since video chews up such a large amount of bandwidth. Applications are another bandwidth-hog.

Peaceful Solution

Previously, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority filed a class-action lawsuit against Facebook for a stock restructuring plan that would allow CEO Mark Zuckerberg to significantly divest without losing any control over the company. The plan also would have freed him up to run for public office while maintaining his involvement with Facebook.

The transportation authority claimed the company had breached its fiduciary duty to minority shareholders. Zuckerberg was slated to testify in court last Tuesday, but before he could make an appearance, the case was apparently settled outside of court.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority was far from the only one up in arms about the potential stock restructuring. The pressures led Zuckerberg and Facebook to rethink the decision.

Zuckerberg said that “over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well, and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more. As a result, I’ve asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock – and the board has agreed.”

Zuckerberg said his charitable giving would continue, as another 35 to 75 million personally held shares would be sold through the next 18 months.

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