Facebook, Facebook. A year ago, it seemed we could hardly go a day without some newsworthy tidbit from the sweetheart of the social networking scene. These days, positive headlines—or any at all, since “ink is ink”—are much fewer and further between. But today, Facebook has two reasons to make the news: they’ve endorsed the new KIDS Act from the US federal government and they’re finally disbursing the fbFund for startups.
The Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2008 was signed into law on Monday. The new act requires sexual offenders to include email addresses and IM names on the National Sex Offenders Registry. Yesterday, Facebook announced that they will comply with the new federal law, just as they have worked with states’ attorneys general in keeping sexual predators off Facebook.
As Chris Kelly pointed out in the company’s blog post on the KIDS Act, the old system was deficient:
Unfortunately, we both consistently find that [the state] registries lack the essential email and IM data for comprehensive and rapid screening. The process is also less efficient and less effective than anyone, especially concerned parents, would like, which is why we’re such ardent supporters of the KIDS Act Registry.
Also in the news today is Facebook’s funding of developer startups. fbFund is a $10 million fund for apps developers that started last year. When it began in July 2007, the fund was supposed to use a “fast-track approval process.” However, no money had been announced until now.
Today, Facebook announced the 25 recipients of $25,000 each. They’ll receive the money to work on their original, meaningful social apps on Facebook and throughout the Internet on Facebook connect.
• BarTab • BlackDrumm • Bottle Rocket • Check My Campus • Daikon • Faithfeed • Good Call Sports • GroupCard • Kontagent • Koofers • Mousehunt • Newsbrane • PartyBuzz • Pongr • ProfessionalProfile • RealGifts • Social Arcade • Socialfly • Teach the People • Thankster • TrailBehind • Twenty20 Cricket • vDream Racing • Weddingbook • Wildfire
Five of these startups will receive an additional $225,000 at the end of the second round of the competition. To qualify, over the next few weeks the startups must:
build and submit their final applications and create a video showcasing their work, which will be found on the fbFund competition page. As round two kicks off, users will have the chance to try these applications, watch the videos and vote for their favorites. Final judging of round two will factor in user voting, as well as input from Facebook, Accel Partners and Founders Fund.
The winners will be announced in December.