For some reason, it always makes me smile a little to be able to write something disparaging about Facebook. Today is no exception, as it turns out the idea of a Facebook manufactured camera in peoples' homes doesn't seem to be very popular after all.
Fast Company has reported that, according to sources at companies which supply parts for Portal cameras, only a "very low" number of the devices are shipping. And thank the heavens for that!
Of course Facebook is constantly wrapped up in one privacy scandal after another, but should that really stop consumers from paying out their hard-earned money to purchase a Facebook camera that also listens in on conversations?? Hmmm.
Facebook initially launched two versions of the Portal, a creepy... I mean dedicated device for video calls, in 2018 for $199 and $349. Updated versions of the device, and a TV-mounted camera, are now available for the blissfully ignorant, from $129 to $179.
Curiously enough, Facebook has declined to disclosed specific sales numbers for its line of camera-enabled, privacy invading, eaves-dropping smart devices for the not so smart. However, Andrew Bosworth, vice president of AR and VR at Facebook, has asserted that sales are "very good."
A good question to ask, though, is what precisely does "very low" mean? Fast Company cites Rakuten, which monitors online sales, as putting the number at approximately "0.6% of units sold in the overall smart-speaker category."
Despite Bosworth's refusal to provide honest answers about sales, the human data trafficking... I mean social network company pushed ahead and unveil an entire second generation of the cameras.
Maybe Bosworth and his people misconstrued the demand after spending a lot time reading positive Portal reviews on Amazon written by people that, coincidentally, have the same names as Facebook employees. Of course, that's just pure speculation.
I'm pretty sure, though, that Facebook will push on ahead to realize its vision of a Facebook-controlled camera in every home, and the subsequent potential privacy disasters that go along with that.
Unfortunately for Facebook that its human products, aka "customer" base appears to feel otherwise.