Posts tagged Facebook
Facebook is reportedly working on incorporating the hashtag into the social network. A Twitter staple, the Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook has plans to bring the hashtag to its service, offering users the ability to index conversations around a particular topic, just as they currently do on Twitter. Sources ”familiar with the matter” told the Journalthat while Facebook is working on the feature, it wouldn’t necessarily be released anytime soon.
Hashtags are already incorporated into Facebook-owned Instagram. Hashtags seem like the natural evolution of Facebook’s newly-released Graph Search. The search is currently limited to information input by users on their location, friends, and Likes. Adding hashtag support would enable an expansion of that search functionality, letting users tune into public posts based around certain topics such as #Elections or #HarlemShake as well.
For now, the social network is remaining mum on when or if it will be adding hashtags. A company spokesperson telling us simply, “We do not comment on rumor or speculation.” Would you like to see hashtags comes to Facebook? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
[Via the Wall Street Journal]
Mashable composite. Image via Mashable/Emil Lendof
Expressions of approval on the social network can accurately predict personality traits, sexual orientation, and intelligence, researchers say. Facebook users’ Likes on the social network may be unintentionally revealing their personality traits, sexual orientation, and intelligence, according to a study published today. By studying the Likes of 58,000 Facebook users on the social network, researchers at the University of Cambridge say they were able to determine users’ IQ, gender, sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs, and even substance use, with an accuracy rate of more than 80 percent
Expressions of approval on the social network for things such as photos, friends’ status updates, as well as pages for sports, musicians, and books, were analyzed by researchers employing a model that reduced the number of random variables under consideration. When compared with user-provided demographic profiles and other psychometric tests, researchers learned they had correctly predicted sexual orientation 88 percent of the time, ethnicity 95 percent of the time, and political leanings in 85 percent of the cases. ”This study demonstrates the degree to which relatively basic digital records of human behavior can be used to automatically and accurately estimate a wide range of personal attributes that people would typically assume to be private,” researchers said in the study, which was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PDF).
“Likes represent a very generic class of digital records, similar to Web search queries, Web browsing histories, and credit card purchases,” researchers said. “In contrast to these other sources of information, Facebook Likes are unusual in that they are currently publicly available by default.” While recognizing that predicting attributes and preferences could be used to improve a wide range of products and services, researchers noted that there were considerable negative implications to the predictability model, especially when digital records are analyzed without individuals’ knowledge or consent. ”Commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share,” researchers concluded. “One can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual’s well-being, freedom, or even life.”
Bursting With Color. Vibrant new visuals bring your News Feed to life.
Facebook Takes a Bite Out of Twitter. How do you know when the news feed revolution is over? Putting added emphasis on news, the refreshed Facebook goes after a core feature of its biggest competitors. Today, Facebook promised to put the news back in its News Feed. At a press event at headquarters, Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly used the phrase “personalized newspaper” to describe the direction of the site’s core feature. And the Feed’s new features arguably make Facebook a better way to stay on top of current events than ever before.
With a dedicated tab for everyone you’re following and a renewed focus on photos, Facebook is aiming to create the kind of real-time information network that has made Twitter the top destination for news junkies. That hasn’t been possible before, not least because of Facebook’s opaque, algorithmic way of showing you stories. As Nick Bilton detailed this week in The New York Times, reaching followers has become more difficult in recent months as Facebook has started encouraging publishers to pay to “promote” their posts. The result is that anyone who follows a publisher lik might not see the majority of its posts, even though they’ve asked to.
Contrast that with Twitter, which displays every tweet from everyone a user follows. That can make the stream difficult to keep up with, particularly if you follow more than a couple hundred people. But at least a user can trust that tweets will appear in the stream as they are written — and not after an algorithm decides they are worthy of being delivered. And so the biggest change Facebook announced today, from the perspective of publishers and the people who want to read them on Facebook, is the “following” tab. According to executives at the event, the tab will show “every single post” from the people and publishers you subscribe to. If true, that will go a long way toward building trust in Facebook as a home for breaking news.
Meanwhile, news should look better on Facebook than it ever has, thanks to larger photos, expanded snippets of text from the articles that are shared, and their more prominent presentation on the page. Publishers have suffered through Facebook’s algorithmic changes because the site can still drive significant traffic to their pages — far more than the average post on Twitter or other social networks. If Facebook’s changes make it easier for them to reach their fans, they may develop a new appreciation for what the network can offer. But competitors are gunning for their attention, too. Facebook’s changes come as Twitter has moved to make its own stream more visual. Tweets have transformed from a simple string of 140 characters to “envelopes” for all sorts of things, including photos, music, and article snippets.
And while it far lags both of them in mind share, Google+ continues to polish its design in a way that puts photos at the forefront. Yesterday, the company rolled out a new look that includes larger cover photos, enhanced profiles, and a new tab of its own (for place reviews). Many readers remarked on the updated News Feed’s resemblance to Google+, which also features a narrow left rail with big icons and huge photos in the central feed. So yes, Facebook is trying to become “the best personalized newspaper.” But it’s not the only one. News is a major pillar of all the main social networks, and its role on each of them is only expanding. Facebook, Twitter, and Google started their social networks for very different reasons. But as the months go on, they’re looking more and more alike.
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Facebook has become a social network that’s often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom they crave. To understand where teens like to spend their virtual time nowadays, just watch them on their smartphones. Their world revolves around Instagram, the application adults mistook for an elevated photography service, and other apps decidedly less old-fashioned than Mark Zuckerberg’s social network.
And therein lies one of Facebook’s biggest challenges: With more than 1 billion users worldwide and an unstated mission to make more money, Facebook has become a social network that’s often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom or release they crave. For tweens and teens, Instagram — and, more recently, SnapChat, an app for sending photos and videos that appear and then disappear — is the opposite of Facebook: simple, seemingly secret, and fun. Around schools, kids treat these apps like pot, enjoyed in low-lit corners, and all for the undeniable pleasure and temporary fulfillment of feeling cool. Facebook, meanwhile, with its Harvard dorm room roots, now finds itself scrambling to keep up with the tastes of the youngest trendsetters — even as it has its hooks in millions of them since it now owns Instagram.
Asked about the issue, a Facebook representative would say only, “We are gratified that more than 1 billion people, including many young people, are using Facebook, to connect and share.” There’s no hard-and-fast data that quantifies Facebook’s teen problem. But we know — from observing teens, talking to parents and analysts, and from a few company statements — that age doesn’t become Facebook with this group. In recent weeks, Facebook has told us on two occasions about its teen-appeal problem. When it filed its annual report, it warned investors for the first time that younger users are turning to other services, particularly Instagram, as a substitute for Facebook. Then, earlier this week, Chief Financial Officer David Ebersman admitted that Instagram, an application he described as popular among the “younger generation,” is a ”formidable competitor” to Facebook. Which seems odd until you realize that the profit-hungry Facebook isn’t yet making a dime from Instagram.
What we do know is that Instagram is already a very popular service that continues to grow rapidly, and we believe, based on the information that we have, that it’s quite popular among these kinds of users that you’re asking about, the younger generation. It is very important for Facebook to build products that are useful to those users, and to build products that they feel comfortable…they can have a good experience with. Definitely high on the list of priorities for us.
The under-13, tween crowd, technically isn’t allowed to use the application, as dictated by the terms of service and a federal restriction (though the law is changing this July in ways that will make it easier for kids to join). Yet kids found Instagram anyway, largely because their parents wouldn’t let them join Facebook, argues Altimeter Group principal analyst Brian Solis. Teens 13 and up joined Instagram, he said, because Facebook became “too great” a social network, where they’re now connected to their grandparents. Isn’t it ironic, as Alanis Morissete would say, that Facebook, the onetime underground drug of choice for college kids, is now so readily available and acceptable that we all use it in broad daylight, and worse, at work? Sure, a 12-year-old skateboarder can derive some value from Facebook, but in the whitewashed kind of way that the rest of us use LinkedIn.
“We take pictures of food and landscapes,” Solis said, “but teenagers use [Instagram] to share pictures of themselves…the more you share, the greater the reaction, and the more you push outside comfort zones, the more people react.” Tweens and teens are addicted to the idea of eliciting more reactions in the form of likes, followers, and comments, he said. They employ like-for-like photo tactics, use a myriad of hashtags to get their pictures in front of more users, and promote their desire for additional followers in their profiles. Ascertaining the extent of Instagram’s popularity with teens is particularly tricky — until you talk to them. And some data on the phenomena does exist. Nielsen, one of the few companies to measure teens’ online behavior, can track only Web usage for this youngest demographic. The analytics firm told that Instagram was the top photography Web site among U.S. teens ages 12 to 17, with 1.3 million teens visiting the site during December 2012. By the analytics firm’s count, roughly one in 10 online teens in the U.S. visited Instagram in a browser during the month.
Anecdotally, the evidence overwhelmingly points to Instagram as the preferred social network of tweens and teens. A personal relationship provided me with a direct lens to view how two teenage boys used the application in their everyday lives. I also chatted with other kids, some the children of friends, and others I found through friends of friends. Beth Blecherman’s 14-year-old son, who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, downloaded Instagram when he was 13 because all his friends were using it as their social network. Marisa, a 16-year-old girl who attends Cathedral City High School in Southern California, has been using Instagram for more than a year. She said that a majority of her high school friends are using the application. And a San Diego friend’s 12-year-old son is so hooked on the application that he was in tears when his account was temporarily suspended earlier this year.
“Teens recognized Instagram as a social network before anyone else,” Solis said. “Everyone else treated it as a camera app.” At the same time, Instagram could disappear from teen consciousness just as easily at it arrived. Remember: Instagram was only 17 months old when Zuckerberg bought it in the weeks prior to Facebook’s IPO last May. Parents are starting to understand that their kids haven’t developed a fascination with the application to share artistic photos of landscapes and architecture. All of the teens I spoke with have watchful parents who keep an observant eye on their Instagram accounts.
Teens searching for a cyberhangout to call their own
Adam McLane, a former youth pastor who hosts educational social-media seminars for parents of teens in San Diego, told me that his sessions are dominated by talk of Instagram, with frenzied parents fearful that their innocent young ones are participating in unsavory activities such as bullying or posting inappropriate photos. The parent factor alone could send kids fleeing to other applications such as Snapchat, Pheed, and Tumblr, all of which appear to have strong teen followings. Investors are betting on Snapchat in particular, which sends more than 60 million short-lived messages daily, because they don’t want to miss out on the next Facebook. ”Teens are looking for a place they can call their own,” said Danah Boyd, a senior researcher who studies, for Microsoft, how young people use social media. “Rather than all flocking en masse to a different site, they’re fragmenting across apps and engaging with their friends using a wide array of different tools…. A new one pops up each week. What’s exciting to me is that I’m seeing teenagers experiment.”
This experimental nature puts Facebook in the tricky position of reacting to the whims of transitory teens. Take Facebook’s impromptu release of Poke, a mobile phone application, modeled after Snapchat, for sending messages that self-destruct moments later. The company’s most reactionary move, however, was its surprise purchase of Instagram, an impulse buy that ultimately cost about $715 million. Now that Instagram has more than 100 million active users, Facebook’s impulsive pickup looks like a smart one. But the dangerous reality is that Facebook is bleeding attention to an application with no advertising model, and the social network doesn’t even understand how Instagram ties in with its own applications.
Facebook doesn’t know what teens want. Ebersman said as much, albeit in less direct terms: ”Facebook is a very young company in terms of the age of our employees, and I am hopeful that continues to be an asset for us in terms of having our finger on the pulse of what matters to that particular constituency of users and how we can provide products to satisfy them.” Put that way, Facebook’s saving grace might be that its employees are also tiring of Facebook.
The social network is giving even more of its mobile users a free way to reach friends through voice over IP. Facebook for iPhone now doubles as a way to phone a friend for free. The social network today released version 5.5 of its iPhone and iPad application to allow for free friend-to-friend voice calling in the U.S. and Canada.
The voice-over-IP functionality extends a feature that wasfirst introduced on Facebook Messenger to even more of the social network’s mobile audience. The feature, which should appeal to teens and cheapskates, could help the social network keep the attention of its youngest users, some of whom have, according to a recent SEC filing by the company, “reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram.”
Just as with Messenger, people can navigate to a pal’s contact info — click the friends tab, pick a buddy, and hit the “i” button — to make a free voice call over Wi-Fi or data connection using the Facebook for iOS application. In version 5.5, Facebook also tweaked its like, comment, and share buttons to encourage people to engage more with status updates.
Investigators say the surge of malware attacks on U.S. companies may be coming from Eastern European cybercriminals rather than being Chinese state-sponsored espionage. While many security experts have been pointing the blame at China for the recent wave of cyberattacks on U.S. companies and newspapers, Bloomberg reports that some of the malware attacks actually may be coming from Eastern Europe. Investigators familiar with the matter told Bloomberg they believe a cybercriminal group based in either Russia or Eastern Europe is carrying out the high-level attacks to steal company secrets, research, and intellectual property, which could then be sold on the black market.
Evidence that the attacks may be coming from Eastern Europe is the type of malware being used by the hackers, which is more commonly used by cybercriminals than by government spying. Also, investigators have tracked at least one server being used by the hackers to a Ukrainian hosting company. Roughly 40 companies have been victims of cyberattacks over the past several months. These companies included tech businesses, such as Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, and newspapers, such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press.
Apple announced today that hackers targeted computers used by its employees, but that “there was no evidence that any data left Apple.” In a statement, the company said it discovered malware that made use of a vulnerability in the Java plug-in, and that it was sourced from a site for software developers. Apple blocked Java from some of its Macs late last month using its XProtect antimalware tool and citing security vulnerabilities.
A report by The New York Times yesterday claimed that an “overwhelming percentage” of the cyberattacks on U.S. corporations, government agencies, and organizations came from an office building in Shanghai with ties to the People’s Liberation Army. These allegations remain unconfirmed and flatly denied by Chinese authorities.
The hack on The New York Times itself was months long and included the theft of corporate passwords of Times employees, as well as spying on personal computers. The attacks on Facebook, Twitter, and Apple were a bit different in that reportedly only a small number of systems were infected and the hackers got in via the Java vulnerability.
This isn’t the first allegation of cybercriminals operating out of Eastern Europe. Security firm McAfee Labs published a report in December that warned of increasing attacks on U.S. financial institutions from Eastern European hackers. Dubbed Project Blitzkrieg, McAfee said the possible attacks would be done with a highly developed Trojan that could infect victims’ computers, plant software, and allow cybercriminals to steal information and money.
The social network’s climb back to its IPO price has been halted after a fourth quarter that left many feeling unsettled. Facebook looks healthier on mobile, but appearances can be deceiving. The social network will be unable to show its burgeoning mobile audience enough ads to compensate for desktop-to-mobile migration, investment research firm BTIG said in a report published today. ”We suspect the more consumers shift to mobile, the less total time they are spending with Facebook,” BTIG media analyst Richard Greenfield said in the report. “We struggle to believe Facebook can continue to ramp the ad load on mobile the way they did in Q4 2012.”
The firm, which today downgraded Facebook from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating, believes mobile-ad growth slowed in the fourth quarter and that Facebook sidestepped reporting those figures in its fourth-quarter earnings report to avoid showing the slowdown. Greenfield estimated that Facebook averaged $3.4 million per day from its mobile-ad units by the end of the fourth quarter. The figure, if accurate, would show a less-than-impressive 12 percent change from the previous quarter when Facebook said it was making $3 million per day from ads running in members’ mobile News Feeds.
“Given that Facebook clearly gunned the ad load in the news feed during Q4, benefited from a seasonal tailwind, an unknown amount of political advertising, the introduction of sponsored posts … and the launch of app install ads, it is hard to believe the daily mobile advertising revenue did not average more than $3.4 [million] per day,” Greenfield said. BTIG also set a new target price of $22, which means it thinks Facebook’s best days on the market are behind it. That could be so. Doubt around Facebook seems pervasive on Wall Street, where investor inquietude with the company’s financials and runaway 2013 spending projections have halted the social network’s climb back to its IPO price of $38 a share.
Heading into its fourth-quarter earnings report, Facebook earned back more than 60 percent of lost value, shooting from around $19 a share to more than $31 a share in 90 days’ time. But in the two weeks since Facebook reported adjusted earnings per share of 17 cents and revenue of $1.59 billion for the fourth quarter, the company has wavered from its position of strength. Shares today are trading around $27.50, down about 12 percent from Facebook’s January 30 close of $31.24. The slide backward, though not anywhere near as dramatic as Facebook’s post-IPO free fall, is a disconcerting change of circumstances that exposes just how uncertain investors and analysts are about the company’s long-term ability to make money from its mobile audience, which stands at 680 million people.
It doesn’t help that the desktop, where Facebook generates a majority of its revenue, is being abandoned by the 1.06 billion people who use the service each month. Facebook’s mobile daily active users exceeded its Web daily active users in the fourth quarter, the company said. As such, Greenfield expects desktop revenues to peak this year. ”We believe desktop revenues will … begin to decline in 2014 and beyond, putting increased pressure on the growth trajectory of mobile revenues,” he said.
Facebook is slowly rolling out its beta version of Graph Search, a new, smarter way to search within your social network. Here’s how to sign up. Starting today, Facebook will slowly roll out its beta version of Graph Search, a new, smarter way to search within your social network. Search has been available on Facebook for some time, but the introduced tool is much more than just a search bar. Its efficacy has yet to be tested, but Facebook promises that its search trumps other options like Google, allowing you to perform more complex searches like, “friends in New York who like Macklemore.” Graph Search launches today in “limited beta.” As soon as we get our hands on it, we’ll give you the full how-to, but until then, you can sign up for Graph Search here. Just click “Join Waiting List” at the bottom of the page. Presumably, it’s first come, first served, so sign yourself up right now.
For the complete details on the story, read the older post.
The search engine will allow people using Facebook to more quickly find answers to questions about friends in their Social Graph. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg announced Graph Search at a press event today at the company’s Menlo Park headquarters, billing it as a new way find people, photos, places and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users. Graph Search is the social network’s newest way for users to make sense of its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests. Zuckerberg said Graph Search is launching to a small number of people today and is available only on the desktop and in English for the time being.
People can use the structured search tool to resurface old memories, find people in their network, and uncover potential connections. The service incorporates various filters such as “place type,” “liked by,” and “visited by friends” to make locating things faster. You can refine search queries with more advance filters to get better answers. One example demonstrated was a very specific search for “Friends of my friends who are single male San Francisco, Calif.” That refined query returned a select group of people who fit the criteria. Apart from personal use cases, Graph Search can be used for dating and recruiting purposes, which could make the product a potential challenger to LinkedIn and various dating sites that incorporate social network profiles.
But the personal use cases do abound. A query for “photos of my friends before 1990,” for instance, popped up a number of cute kid photos, including a shot of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg from 1972. Graph Search is going to appear as a bigger search bar at the top of each page, replacing the usual white search bar. Facebook said that when people search the service, that search both determines the set of results you get and serves as a title for the page. “You can edit the title — and in doing so create your own custom view of the content you and your friends have shared on Facebook,” according to Facebook.
Zuckerberg noted that Graph Search and Web search are very different. The latter was engineered to take a set of keywords — Facebook’s example was “hip hop” — to come up with possible results that best match the keywords. By contrast, Graph Search combines phrases. The other obvious difference is that each piece of Facebook content has its own audience, and for the most part that content is not public. Alluding to the obvious privacy concerns, Zuckerberg said that Facebook built Graph Search from the start with that in mind, and it would respect the privacy and audience of each piece of content on Facebook. Traditional Web search, though not the focus of Graph Search by any means, is still incorporated into the beta product. Facebook has partnered with Bing to automatically supply answers to queries that the new Facebook engine can’t computer.
On the business side of things, Facebook does not intend to immediately monetize this new asset. But that’s certainly on the agenda. ”This potentially could be a business over time. For now, we are focused on building user experience,” Zuckerberg said. “We have had sponsored search results for a while. … That extends quite nicely to this, but we haven’t done anything new for this release.” Graph Search is being rolled out today in limited preview. Last week, the social network sent out a media invitation to “Come and see what we’re building,” fueling speculation that it would finally unveil a Facebook-branded phone. Wall Street’s expectations have been equally high with the company’s stock trading above $31 a share, a price point it hasn’t seen since its May 2011 Nasdaq debut. But the phone rumor proved to be bogus and Wall Street’s immediate reaction was to sell. After reaching a high of $31.71, Facebook’s shares reversed course and fell as low as $30.20 during the course of Zuckerberg’s presentation.
Perhaps even more important than direct monetization is Facebook’s ability to keep members engaged on the site. Graph Search, according to Forrester analyst Nate Elliott, has the potential to do just that: ”Facebook’s worst nightmare is a static social graph; if users aren’t adding very many new friends or connections, then their personal network becomes less and less active over time,” he said. ” Terrifyingly for Facebook, that threat is very real: We haven’t seen significant growth in the average number of friends per user recently. Graph search seems designed to encourage users to add more friends more quickly. If it means users’ personal networks change more frequently, and become more active, then that keeps them coming back to the site — which is vital to Facebook’s success.”
Equipped with nothing more than 24 hours, a hardworking group, and a kernel of an idea, participants of the Facebook sponsored Hackathon set to work Jan. 19 to 20 to create their own technological innovations. This year’s Waterloo Hackathon saw around 300 participants, set up in groups of up to four people. It was the largest recorded turnout for a Waterloo Hackathon, and according to Facebook university recruiter Timothy Tieu, it was one of the largest turnouts to a Facebook Hackathon event ever. For the past four years, Facebook’s Hackathon events have been a main attraction for Waterloo students with a passion for speedy innovation and creation. Among those students is two-time winner of Waterloo’s Hackathon, Akash Vaswani. Along with his group mates Leigh Pauls, Mark Schenn, and Adam Kabbeke, Vaswani created this year’s winning invention: the Pebble Mouse.
The Pebble Mouse is a program that enables the soon to be released Pebble watch to be used as a mouse for any computer interface. The Pebble watch can work with an iPhone or Android phone; it was also created by a Waterloo alumnus. The idea for the Pebble Mouse came from Pauls, who worked for Pebble during a co–op term. All group members had an equal part and defined role in the creation of the Pebble Mouse; Hackathon was an outlet used to spawn Pauls’ idea to fruition. “[The Hackathon’s] basically an event where you can get together with a team and work on something you consider cool,” Vaswani said. “Rarely do you get the opportunity to just create something in one day.”
Vaswani and his team gained more than the thrill of creation. In addition to this year’s first place prize: Jamboxes, the team will take their invention to California. Winners are given luxurious accommodations, a tour of Facebook headquarters, and an introduction to Mark Zuckerburg himself. They will then compete against the other winning inventions from Facebook’s worldwide Hackathon events to determine the global champion. Over the past few years, Waterloo students have set a good track record with Facebook Hackathons. Last year, Waterloo students won the world title. “People at Waterloo have experience at really good jobs,” Vaswani rationalized. “The winning teams from the past years have all been from Velocity, and it may have something to do with that. People are actively working on projects throughout the year.”
“The biggest and most obvious reason is the coop program. Students are pulling knowledge from experience, not just schoolwork,” Tieu agreed. Tieu also cited the amount of diverse and innovative programs at Waterloo as a contributing factor to Waterloo’s previous Hackathon success. Facebook hosts their own internal 24 hour Hackathons, which have led to functions such as chat, the use of videos on Facebook, and mentions (when a user links someone’s name to a post). Hackathons have been a part of Facebook’s culture for a long time. “Hackathons have been going on ever since Facebook was founded. It is something we value a lot and kept as a tradition,” Tieu said. “We brought Hackathons to universities four years ago, to meet students of the same mindset and bring Facebook culture to them.”
In accordance with this culture, Vaswani described the event as being “less competitive than collaborative.” Participants walk around and help each other solve problems with their inventions. Facebook also brings engineers to the event to help participants create things they have thought of but don’t necessarily have the capability to create on their own. Hackathons are used as an outlet for participants to work towards achieving their aspirations. For Vaswani, the combination of Hackathon, Velocity ventures, and UW’s coop program have helped him achieve his previous goal of visiting Palo Alto and working in the valley. His current aspiration? “Working for a startup that makes a lot of money,” Vaswani said. With two Facebook Hackathon wins and another win from a Perimeter Institute Hackathon, Vaswani’s adherence to UW’s trademark innovation should help him realize his goal.