There's a lot of love for Facebook's new Portal smart display on Amazon - from Facebook's own employees, at least.
The Portal and Portal+ are Facebook's attempt to enter the smart home market, with a screen-based smart display to offer video chat services. But it seems some of the more glowing praise found online is from Facebook employees - which they're not really meant to be doing.
New York Times columnist @kevinroose posted the revelation on Twitter, showing how a number of five-star reviews on the Portal's Amazon product page were signed off by the names of Facebook employees - an accusation confirmed by Facebook executive Andrew Bosworth. You can read Bosworth's comment to Roose's tweet below.
neither coordinated nor directed from the company. From an internal post at the launch: “We, unequivocally, DO NOT want Facebook employees to engage in leaving reviews for the products that we sell to Amazon.” We will ask them to take down.January 17, 2019
Facebook's forays into the market, the Portal the Portal+, didn't receive a huge amount of fanfare at launch, which may have had something to do with ongoing concerns about the company's use of customer data.
Facebook admitted as much, telling news site Recode that "Portal voice calling is built on the Messenger infrastructure, so when you make a video call on Portal, we collect the same types of information (i.e. usage data such as length of calls, frequency of calls) that we collect on other Messenger-enabled devices."
Whether positive reviews from Facebook's own employees are enough to allay those fears remains to be seen.