5 Things Afoot at Facebook This Week

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It would come as little surprise if many people got the majority of their news from browsing their Facebook pages each day. When that news is all about Facebook itself, however, using a separate party is usually advisable. And Facebook is indeed in the news today: both the company itself and its precocious founder are reportedly dealing massive amounts of money, the former in huge sales of stock, the latter in an astounding donation to charity in the form of stock donations. But is Facebook making moves because they have big plans for the future, or because they see troubled waters ahead?

5 Millions of Accounts May Have Been Hacked Recently

In the past few weeks, tech analysts have been discussing a massive number of potentially compromised Facebook, Twitter and Google accounts. In 2012, hackers reportedly used information gained from such user accounts to break into bank accounts and steal nearly $4.5 billion. The recent slew of hacks have not had a quantifiable effect yet, but security experts are advising users to, at the very least, change their passwords and to never use the same security information for a social network as they do for other sensitive accounts.

4 Here Come Commercials

Starting this month, your Facebook page will be featuring something new and decidedly unwelcome: video advertisements. Or, as they are more commonly known, commercials. Until now, advertising on the social media giant has been relatively nonintrusive, as users can simply scroll by ads to see the content they want. Going forward, however, some of the ads may be almost unavoidable, because they will be talking to you and moving around.

3 Facebook Is Selling Nearly $4 Billion Worth of Shares

To help raise capital, which will largely be used to pay off taxes, Facebook and some of its major shareholders are announcing a massive selloff of shares. Board member Marc Andreessen is set to sell around 1.6 million shares, the company itself will be offering some 27 million shares, and Mark Zuckerberg will sell a reported 41.35 million shares. The combined sale will raise some $3.9 billion dollars, which Facebook will use keep itself financially solvent. The company hopes its shares will be snapped up just as it begins to be traded on the S&P 500 index.

2 A Huge Redesign Has Been Scrapped

In March of this year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a huge redesign campaign would be overhauling the site’s news feed. But after the new design was tested on about one percent of Facebook’s users, their definitively negative response put the brakes on any further rollout. The site’s news feed has become crammed with hundreds of items displayed at any one time, but the attempted fix, which used lots of images and graphics, was roundly rejected, so now Facebook’s feed is back to bloated business as usual.

1 Mark Zuckerberg Is Donating Nearly a Billion Dollars to Charity

The young CEO of Facebook just announced a truly massive charitable contribution. Zuckerberg is not actually donating cash, but rather shares of his company currently valued at around $990 million. He will donate the shares to two institutions: the Breakthrough Prize in Life Science, and to his own Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Even with this donation and with the announced sale mentioned above, Zuckerberg will still control 56.1% of the company.

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