Facebook is holding a mysterious media event on Jan. 15 at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to make a big announcement. The invite simply said, “Come and see what we’re building.”
Naturally, rumors are flying on what the mystery announcement could be. In April 2011 Facebook teased a big announcement, and the main speculation was that the site would be building a service to compete with Groupon. Instead, Facebook underwhelmed many by announcing it had built energy-efficient data storage servers in Oregon.
The last media gathering the site hosted announced a slew of new retail partners for its Gifts app.
This time around, people are once again coming up with wild ideas. We’ve rounded up some of the Internet’s guesses, both serious and absurd, for what the announcement might be. Next
TechCrunch is among many sources speculating that the site might be announcing a Facebook smartphone, despite Mark Zuckerberg denying an interest in one in the past. After all, Steve Jobs once said that 7-inch tablets (like the iPad mini) were a bad idea.
One possibility Zuck might have up his sleeve? Enhancing Facebook’s search capabilities to pull in outside content and compete with well-known search engines like Google. This will also make Facebook a good option as a homepage.
“Facebook is really uniquely positioned to answer a lot of the questions that people have,” the Harvard dropout said in September. Next
Facebook operating system
Many are suggesting that Facebook is not creating it’s own hardware, but a device made by a separate smartphone manufacturer that runs a Facebook-based operating system.
Forbes is guessing that HTC is working on a Facebook-friendly phone that will “take social media integration to a whole other level.” HTC’s last attempt at a smartphone with a Facebook button, however, proved to be unpopular.
Forbes also speculated that Facebook might be announcing an integration with automobiles, as the announcement happens to coincide with the North American International Auto Show. Next
Another widely reported rumor is that Facebook could be announcing a messenger for the iPad that could rival home phones. Next
New gaming platform
Due to the rapidly falling stock price of app developer Zynga, some people are speculating that the Facebook announcement will center around a new gaming platform that is optimized for mobile. Forbes also echoed this suggestion.
Pictured: Zynga General Manager Manuel Bronstein spoke during the Zynga Unleashed event at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Next
A headquarters expansion
One possibility is an update on the new Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.
Last August, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Guggenheim Museum architect Frank Gehry would design a 3,400-employee engineering office connected to the main headquarters by underground tunnel, TechCrunch reported.
Construction was slated to begin in early 2013. Next
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