Facebook Major Update to the Facebook SDK for iOS Coming; Launches Explore London 2012 Page; Settles Sponsored Stories Lawsuit for $10 Million

Facebook announced the Explore London 2012 page to let its more than 900 million users be able to join the celebration of the 2012 London Olympic Stadium.The page features athletes, national teams and individual sports, with broadcasters and sponsors coming soon. Creating a personalized Olympic experience is as easy as finding your favorite and clicking […]

Facebook Explore London 2012 Page

Facebook announced the Explore London 2012 page to let its more than 900 million users be able to join the celebration of the 2012 London Olympic Stadium.

The page features athletes, national teams and individual sports, with broadcasters and sponsors coming soon. Creating a personalized Olympic experience is as easy as finding your favorite and clicking 'like'.

Joanna Shields, VP and Managing Director EMEA at Facebook said:

"These Olympics, every story has the potential to be heard. On Facebook, all athletes can have an audience, and every fan can track how their heroes are doing, support them, encourage them, and share their stories with the world."

The page is available in 22 languages. There are already more than 100 million connections between fans and athletes on the Explore London 2012 page.

Facebook Developers blog today teased more iOS 6 integration, according to the social network company, it is working on a "major update" to the Facebook SDK for iOS that will launch soon:

"We're very excited about the Facebook integration in iOS 6 that Apple announced last week at WWDC 2012. We're working on a major update to the Facebook SDK for iOS that will launch in the coming weeks. It includes significant new features and enhancements that make it easier to add Facebook to your iOS apps, along with support for the Facebook integration in iOS 6. Stay tuned!," Facebook's Jason Clark posted.

Facebook SDK for iOS major update coming in weeks

The update involves the Open Graph, "allowing iOS developers to easily hook into your Timeline and its News Feed and Ticker products has become a way to send an app's growth into the stratosphere," TheNextWeb speculated.

Facebook may also let developers launch apps in the App Center more easily.

Also in Facebook news, the social networking company just acquired Face.com, a Facial Recognition Company, for an undisclosed sum.

"People who use Facebook enjoy sharing photos and memories with their friends, and Face.com's technology has helped to provide the best photo experience. This transaction simply brings a world-class team and a longtime technology vendor in house," a Facebook spokeswoman stated.

Face.com previously developed KLIK, a facial recognition iPhone app, which exhibited face-friendly filters akin to Instagram and recognition capabilities for tagging people. It relied on Facebook to recognize a user's friends.

Face.com cofounder and CEO Gil Hirsch said, "By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we'll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers - that's all we've ever wanted to do," he said.

facebook acquires face.com facial recognition company

Finally, Facebook has agreed to pay $10 million in order to settle a lawsuit related to "Sponsored Stories."

The proposed class-action lawsuit brought by five of Facebook users accused Facebook of violating California law by boradcasting user "Likes" as Sponsored Stories without compensation or an opt-out option for own profit.

In lawsuit documents filed in Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-1726, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is quoted as calling trusted referrals like Sponsored Stories the "Holy Grail" of advertising.

Sponsored Stories are comments or endorsements left by a user on the Page of a business they have Liked, turned into advertisements by the Page. These particular ads use the name and profile picture of the user who Liked the page. Five Facebook members brought the case forward, though nearly one in three U.S. citizens could have joined in, said related court documents. That may have resulted in billions in damages.

Facebook Settles 'Like' Sponsored Stories Lawsuit for $10 millionU.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said the plaintiffs had shown economic injury could occur through Facebook's use of their names, photographs, and likenesses.

"California has long recognized a right to protect one's name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage," Koh wrote.

Recently, several Facebook executives indicated that Sponsored Stories are a huge profit center for the social network including COO Sheryl Sandberg, who indicated that the ROI on Sponsored Stories ads are two to three times greater than typical online advertising.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: "Nothing influences people more than a recommendation of a friend," and that Sponsored Stories are the "Holy Grail of advertising."