Facebook Roundup: DC Hires, Fellowship Expansion, Patents, Beluga, and More

Facebook Hires 3 DC Staffers – Facebook announced the hiring of Director of Privacy Erin Egan and Director of Public Policy Louisa Terrell, and Manager of Public Policy Chris Herndon.

Facebook Fellowship Prog Expands – Facebook Engineer Sanjeev Kumar wrote a note this week explaining that the  2012-2013 Facebook Fellowship application is now available and the company has doubled the number of slots to 10. Of interest was that he noted that the company is “increasing focus in ‘systems’ areas (Compilers, Databases, Distributed Computing, Fault Tolerance, and Networking)” because this is the direction in which the company may grow.

Patent Lawyer Targets Facebook – Prominent patent attorney John Desmarais recently filed a suit against Facebook that alleges the company infringes on a series of patents for “publishing voice and fax messages on the Internet.” This is the same attorney who, in 2007, won $1.5 billion in a verdict against Microsoft.

Messaging Service Beluga to Close Down – Beluga, which was acquired by Facebook in March, is set to shutter starting November 11 and all messages will be deleted December 15.

23% of Companies Offer Facebook Support – Research company MarketTools published a study recently finding that 23% of companies provide customer service via Facebook and only 12% via Twitter.

App Provides COPD Test – The COPD Alliance published an app on its Page in the name of COPD Awareness Month in November. It is a disease that’s the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., and the app tests users for their susceptability to the disease.

Zooppa Releases Crowdsource App – Zooppa announced a Facebook version of its crowdsourcing advertising service, allowing brands to post creative briefs, allow members to shoot commercials for them and then receive submissions via Facebook.

Messages Could Contain Malicious Attachements – Security researcher Nathan Powell blogged about a specific way Facebook Messages can be used to transmit malicious executable files, though Facebook normally doesn’t allow .exe files to be attached to Messages. Facebook’s Security Manager Ryan McGeehan downplayed the threat, noting that this kind of attack would require “an additional layer of social engineering.”

BrightEdge Releases S3 – BrightEdge, the social management platform announced a new integration of its platform this week, BrightEdge S3. One new feature of interest is the social site audit, which promises a tight web integration with Facebook, specific to Open Graph compliance.