Welcome to the BYTE, where we serve up the latest home and tech news from the last week for you to sink your teeth into.
This week we’re taking a BYTE out of new features, accessible home technology, listing homes, a big step for VR, and California. Dig in!
One Stop Shop
Facebook has announced a number of changes and advancements to its main platform as well as Instagram and Messenger.
What Are We Looking At?
Groups. Facebook is adding several types of groups to things such as Facebook Live. They are also making it easier for people to join groups, including making a “Join Group” button that people can put on websites. This is could prove to be quite helpful for community builders and those looking to build Facebook groups. For the other Facebook apps: Instagram is changing the Explore tab so you can sort things by topic, for example by the topic of new home or homebuilder. They are also adding video chat to Instagram. For Messenger and Instagram they are adding AR lenses to the cameras within the apps.
Facebook has been in some trouble recently with data, privacy, and everything in between, but that hasn’t seemed to stop people from using the network. In a recent survey three-quarters of U.S. users say they use Facebook as often or more frequently since the scandal broke.
New Home Energy
A Chinese firm, HanTiles, has launched glass-topped solar tiles in the U.S.. The tiles should be available nationwide by June. Each tile is said to generate up to 35 watts of electricity and will be meant for the upscale homeowner. These could be the first real competitor to the Tesla Solar Roof. Speaking of Tesla competitors, Mercedes-Benz has exited the home battery market. It entered the home battery market in 2016 and partnered with Vivint, the top-three rooftop solar installer. However now, Mercedes analyzed the resources and potential market and pulled out of the home battery competition.
Like Buying A Plane Ticket
A new study from Redfin showed that listing on certain days are better than others. If you want the most money, list on Wednesday. If you want to sell fast, list on Thursday. This was calculated by taking the homes listed last year and using Sunday as their baseline for speed of sale, certainty, and price.
On The Move
Oculus released their latest headset, the Oculus Go. This is a big deal because all of the computing power is housed in the headset. No need for pairing with a phone or being tied to a PC. It is also priced similarly to a gaming console, $199 or $249. This is a big milestone for VR that could finally bring VR to the public because of the ease of use and price.
Bye Bye Bye
California has been having a hard time getting its home prices to come down and because of this they continue to lose people at an alarming rate. From 2006 to 2016 over a million more people have left than moved in. The economy is strong so getting home prices to come down hasn’t been an easy task and has continued to bring people into the state, however the rate of those leaving is increasing every year.
You probably heard about the volcano erupting in Hawaii, well here are some videos of just how crazy it was.