Amid all of the intrigue about the new product Facebook will introduce Thursday, developer Tom Waddington has now found evidence to support both of the popular theories, following up his discovery of mentions of RSS in Facebook’s code last week, which potentially signifies some sort of news reader, with his unearthing of mentions of video in Instagram’s code, which could signal Facebook’s introduction of a video-sharing feature for its photo-sharing network.
Waddington wrote on his blog:
I decided to take a look at Instagram — the current application, the application-programming interface, and the website. Before long, I came across mentions of .tVideo and .tVideoIndicator CSS classes on profile pages, and (the image at the bottom of this post) hosted on its CDN (content distribution network).
The sprites — play/pause and volume/mute buttons, and their connection to videos in the markup — seem to mean that Instagram video is a certainty. A mute button is the big giveaway on a photo-sharing app.
Waddington went on to state that he does not believe Thursday’s event is being held to introduce an Instagram feature, writing:
I’d be doubtful that the event invitations sent out could be anything to do with Instagram. Facebook needs a strong launch for its next product. I can’t see a coffee-cup stain connecting with video features.
My best guest would be a Flipboard competitor — Facebook wants to get a coffee cup’s worth of time each morning. Monthly active users is a tough metric to keep growing — the next most important measurement would be time on site. A Flipboard-style section — with top social articles, content from RSS feeds, and stories from sites you’ve liked — could easily become a daily destination to catch up on the Web. And it would be sure to push up time on site and, in turn, possible revenue from advertisers.
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Images courtesy of Tom Waddington.