Facebook unveils new Portal video chat, TV streaming devices. ||Anyigbaleft


San Francisco, Sept. 18, 2019 (Reuters/NAN)  Facebook Inc (FB.O) unveiled new models of its Portal video chat devices on Wednesday, making the company’s first foray into TV streaming hardware but offering a limited selection of subscription services.

The launch comes as Facebook is trying to pivot toward more private forms of communication, after years of slowing user growth, data-sharing scandals and calls for change to its hands-off approach to content moderation.

The company is already one of the biggest global players in private messaging, with its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram apps used by 2.4 billion people each month.

It is keeping the focus of its new Portal line on video calling, adding the capability for WhatsApp calls along with improvements to a wide-angle camera that keeps users in focus as they move about a room.

Facebook is also expanding Portal sales into countries including the UK, France, and Australia while lowering prices to more closely compete with industry-leading smart speakers from Amazon and Google that sell for under $100.

 Standard models of the Portal, which ship on Oct. 15, will come in 129 dollars and 179 dollars versions. The portal TV will cost $149 and hit the shelves on Nov. 5.

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