Connect with us

Technology

Facebook to Shut Down Parse, Its Platform for Mobile Developers

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

Photo

Facebook is generating record profits and its mobile advertising business is booming.Credit Reuters

Facebook acquired Parse, a toolkit and support system for mobile developers, in 2013. At the time, the social network’s ambitions were high: Parse would be Facebook’s way into one day harnessing developers to become a true cloud business, competing alongside the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Those ambitions, it seems, have fallen back to earth. On Thursday, Facebook said it plans to shut down Parse, the services platform for which it paid upwards of a reported $85 million.

“We know that many of you have come to rely on Parse, and we are striving to make this transition as straightforward as possible,” Kevin Lacker, co-founder of Parse, said in a blog post. “We enjoyed working with each of you, and we have deep admiration for the things you’ve built.”

Most of what Parse does involves things most people will never see. Parse helps developers with support and tools, so that independent programmers can spend more time writing code and less time on keeping up the back end. Developers who use Parse include those at Quip, a productivity app, and Expedia’s Orbitz, a travel website. Facebook would make money from Parse by storing data from developers and sending customers product notifications.

Achieving that goal, however, would be no easy feat. Microsoft, Google and Amazon have similar developer offerings, along with a much richer set of other computing tools and services that developers need. Amazon Web Services, in particular, has in the past two years stressed both its developer tools and analytic services, so companies can think about what to build next. In every case, these companies can also benefit by selling other computing services, like complex commercial databases, which Facebook does not provide.

At one point, Facebook was willing to take those risks. When Facebook bought Parse in 2013, Facebook’s stock was below its initial public offering price of $38. The company had not grown a robust mobile advertising yet, and Facebook was eager to seek out other lines of business in hopes of future profits, according to two people with knowledge of the company’s plans at the time who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the company.

Parse seemed like a good opportunity for expansion. At the time, Internet businesses were in the midst of a major industry change, as users were shifting away from desktop computing and increasingly relying on mobile devices. Parse, the thinking went, could provide Facebook the opportunity to be the foundation of a whole new generation of developers building mobile apps in the age of the smartphone.

Things have changed. Facebook is generating record profits and its mobile advertising business is booming; 80 percent of the company’s advertising revenue now comes from mobile devices. As Facebook’s fortunes have turned, it has shown less interest in pursuing other lines of business outside of what it does best. Instead, the company appears intent on building things that somehow, someday, will feed Facebook’s core ad-based business — and those bets are going to have to get bigger and weirder

Facebook also would have had to invest untold millions of dollars in capital and, more importantly, engineering talent, to get the Parse business fully off the ground to have a better chance at making a dent in competitors like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Moreover, Facebook has already made two big, risky bets in Oculus, the virtual reality platform, and WhatsApp, the messaging service. Neither service currently generates material revenue for Facebook.

Parse may have touched millions of people through the apps that developers built there, but that mattered little against Facebook’s size. With more than 1.5 billion registered users, a population of even 15 million customers is not 1 percent of Facebook’s audience. Building up Parse, it seems, eventually became more of a distraction than it was worth.

“Moving forward we want to dedicate more resources to high-impact products and services in areas like analytics, monetization, discovery, and authentication,” Michael Kirkland, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement. “As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to wind down support for Parse.”

Other Silicon Valley companies have encountered similar difficulties. Inside Cisco Systems, in its heyday, there was pressure to build businesses that yielded $1 billion or more in revenue, since anything less could not affect the overall company. Facebook, which unlike other clouds has not sought to rent computing and software to businesses, must essentially find this from social networking.

Developers who used Parse will have a set of tools and a year-long window to be able to migrate their data off of the platform to other services.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished together with the Parse community, and we thank them for their support,” Mr. Kirkland said.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Technology

Canadian tech diversity and inclusion in the spotlight

Editor

Published

on

By

Diversity and inclusion are hot-button issues, but for all the attention they get, there’s still work to be done in the tech sector, according to a recent Gartner blog.

Citing a range of challenges that include pay inequity, lack of diversity in corporate management, and difficulty recruiting diverse talent, the blog suggests three possible remedies for organizations trying to become more diverse and inclusive: having a long-term plan but focusing on one aspect that will make the most benefit, setting targets and making leadership accountable, and committing resources.

The call for such strategies finds support in a report from the Brookfield Institute revealing that Canada’s technology sector has a disappointing track record when it comes to inclusion and equity, with women “four times less likely to be employed in the sector than men, and earning on average $7,300 less than men in technology jobs.”

The findings are just as grim in a January 2020 report funded by Canada’s Future Skills Centre. According to this document, despite corporate commitments to diversity, “decades of initiatives designed to advance women in technology have scarcely had an effect: The proportion of women in engineering and computer science in Canada has changed little in 25 years.”

And women are not the only disadvantaged group, says the report. “The under-employment of skilled immigrants and under-representation of women and other groups in the ICT industry suggests that recruitment and retention policies and practices of the very firms complaining about this [skills] gap may be contributing to the problem.”

Until we do a better job of addressing inclusion and diversity, career opportunities will continue to be limited for women, internationally educated professionals, racialized minorities, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. In addition to being a very human issue, this is also one that perpetuates the ICT skills gap by failing to tap into a supply of well-qualified labour.

On the bright side, there are technology companies and organizations across Canada that are truly determined to create opportunities for those who are under-represented in the digital talent pool. There is also an opportunity to recognize their efforts during Channel Innovation 2021: Adapting to the New Customer Experience, a 2.5-hour, virtual event on April 28, 2021.

A showcase for independent software vendors (ISVs) and Canadian channel innovators, the Channel Innovation 2021 celebration will take place on CIA-TV, a unique ITWC platform that allows the audience to take in the show, download related content and videos, and network in live breakout rooms. There are six award categories, including the C4 Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Nominating is simple. Whether a self- or third-party nomination, there are only two main questions to answer and an opportunity to include a supporting document or image.

Winning entries will be announced during the celebration and profiled in the Channel Daily News Magazine and in Direction Informatique, ITWC’s French-language publication devoted to the Quebec marketplace. They will also receive a digital badge for use on their websites and on social media to help gain industry-wide recognition and end-user exposure.

The media attention and recognition are reason enough to vie for this honour, and we always need things to celebrate during a global pandemic, but the real value in awards for diversity and inclusion is in setting an example for others to follow. The news is full of the ways we are falling down when it comes to equity in the IT sector. Let’s take some time to highlight the success stories and encourage other tech innovators to step up.

Continue Reading

Technology

Leading Canadian tech entrepreneur Saadia Muzaffar to give virtual keynote in Peterborough on March 9

Editor

Published

on

By

In celebration of International Women’s Day, one of Canada’s leading female tech entrepreneurs will be giving a virtual keynote for residents of Peterborough and the Kawarthas on Tuesday, March 9th at 7 p.m.

The Innovation Cluster is hosting Saadia Muzaffar as part of its ‘Electric City Talks’ series.

Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur, author, and passionate advocate of responsible innovation, decent work for everyone, and prosperity of immigrant talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She is the founder of TechGirls Canada, a hub for Canadian women in STEM, and co-founder of Tech Reset Canada, a group of business people, technologists, and other residents advocating for innovation that is focused on the public good.

In 2017, Muzaffar was featured in Canada 150 Women, a book about 150 of the most influential and groundbreaking women in Canada. Her work has been featured in CNNMoney, BBC World, Fortune Magazine, The Globe and Mail, VICE, CBC, TVO, and Chatelaine.

Muzaffar’s March 9th talk, entitled ‘Redefining Term Sheets: Success, Solidarity, & The Future We Want’, will inspire women to achieve success in all areas of life, including in business by providing strategies for obtaining funding.

“It is impossible to explain how women only get 2.2 per cent of funding for their ventures while we constitute a majority of the population, without acknowledging long-standing structural and systemic bias,” Muzaffar says, describing her talk. “Women know these odds in our bones because we feel them in too many boardrooms, banks, media advertisements, and venture competitions — yet women are the fastest-growing demographic in new businesses.”

Continue Reading

Technology

ARK’s Cathie Wood joins board of Canadian tech firm mimik

Editor

Published

on

By

ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood is joining the board of Canadian technology company mimik.

Vancouver-based mimik is an edge computing company that effectively turns devices like phones into private cloud servers. It has already teamed up with Amazon Web Services and IBM on edge computing – two of the bigger players in the space.

The AWS partnership gives software developers access to mimik’s cloud platform. Together, edge devices including smart phones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) products can act as extensions of the AWS cloud. With the IBM partnership, mimik’s technology will be included in automation and digital transformation across manufacturing, retail, IoT and healthcare.

All of mimik’s business lines fit in with Wood’s broad ‘next generation internet’ thesis, one of her big five investment themes. The company itself is private and Wood is not an investor. 

However, as Citywire noted in January, Wood has hinted in interviews that ARK is exploring the launch of a private markets strategy. 

Wood joins a relatively high profile board at mimik. Other members include  Allen Salmasi, a pioneer in mobile technology who was previously with Qualcomm, and Ori Sasson, managing director of Primera Capital, who was an investor in VMWare and other technology companies.

‘I’ve always believed in backing founders who are at the forefront of innovation,’ Wood said in a statement on her decision to join mimik. ‘At mimik, [they] have built a foundation for the next generation of cloud computing.’ 

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending