Facebook Web Browser? 😳

Is it just me, or do the tech press seem to have buried the lead with these articles?

The story appears to be about new features being added to the Portal device (but as we’ve previously discussed, nobody seems likely to actually buy these things) but to me the real story seems to be that Facebook have built a browser.

After all, it’s only one step away from the next story being something like “Portal users love our web browser, so we’re bringing it to Android/iOS/Windows/OSX”?

The idea of Facebook being people’s main browser across the entire internet is absolutely terrifying, IMO.

Hopefully this just ends up being another Amazon Silk instead.


This. Truly the big brother end game.


Well, I mean, chrome has 60% of browser users and that’s google.
It’s not like everyone’s using Firefox today.


I remember the days of Google Chrome a little used browser that is now the dominant one. Companies then didn’t pay much attention to it, including Firefox and Microsoft they soon learnt how silly that was. Amazon with the silk browser isn’t anything special, but Facebook with its own browser with its billions of users could be a real challenge if they get it right. However Facebook is more worrying than Google, at least Google try to make a difference, Facebook is purely profit driven, and data is the key to them.

Once I have moved apps to facebook page owners my Facebook account will be gone!!!

Whish I never used it :wink:

I don’t use Chrome, there’s not a chance I’d use a Facebook browser out of choice!


Whenever you click a link inside Instagram it opens in their own browser which I hate, then click open in chrome and you go through a redirect so Instagram/Facebook get your IP etc to match with other advertisers browsing cookies , and I’ve noticed more than a couple of times ads matching what I searched on Google literally an hour before.

I don’t see how this is any more terrifying than Google owning people’s main browser over the entire internet. Especially since Microsoft have recently decided to abandon their own browser engine and switch to blink. It’s really no different to Google including Chrome with Android devices - you buy a Google device, your default browser is Google’s; you buy a Facebook device, your default browser is Facebook’s (though the rendering engine is still Google’s).

Personally, I use Firefox, because I don’t want either company controlling the web.


If you find Google and Facebook to be equally unscrupulous with personal data then I suppose it’s not different.

I trust Google. Their platforms weren’t weaponised by the likes of Cambridge Analytica and used to place dictators in power. Their main products are largely things that are utilitarian - like Search and Maps. They’ve committed to open source projects like Android and Chromium and they’ve spent billions of dollars on projects that don’t appear to have much direct commercial value but are simply based around making the world a better place, like the Verily projects.

Are they perfect? No. But overall I think they’ve done far more good for the world than they have damage, and I see Larry, Sergey and Sundar as being totally committed to what they believe in.

Facebook, and Zuckerberg, on the other hand… I think it’s fairly easy to argue that they are now at the point where they’ve caused more harm than good. Opinions may vary on that, of course. And I think he’s repeatedly shown himself to be untrustworthy, and only interested in exerting more control over his closed platforms and walled gardens.

Let’s not forget that for a long time, Google’s motto was “Don’t be evil” and it’s still a large part of the company foundation. I think there’s still a huge amount of people there that live by that. And whilst they’ve missed the mark on many occasions, I don’t think they’ve ever wilfully ignored all concerns simply to suit their business needs, which Facebook seem to have no issues doing.

Your perspective may vary, of course!


Certainly this.

Whilst it’s easy to see why we should be very wary of Facebook, I feel much more relaxed about Google. In fact, whilst no poster-boy, I sometimes marvel at just how accessible they’ve made the world.