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Facebook on building for Google Glass: it's another way to 'plug into the world'

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The social network offers first details on what it was like to build for Glass

facebook glassware google glass
facebook glassware google glass

Google today launched several new services for Glass — dubbed "Glassware" — including a Facebook app that lets you post photos to your timeline. Facebook's efforts were led by Mobile Product Manager Erick Tseng, a former Product Manager on Android, after an early conversation with some old colleagues at Google. "They've done a great job creating, even at this early stage, an environment that made it quite simple for us to build this app," he says. "We only had two engineers that worked on this — from the day we came up with idea with Google to today was just a few months."

After installing Facebook for Glass, new options appear in the Share screen once you've taken a photo. Just like on Facebook, you can choose to share the photo between three audiences: Public, Friends, or Only Me. Once you've shared a photo, you can add a caption by tapping on the photo, swiping over to Add Description, and tapping again to dictate a caption. You can delete a photo by tapping it, but you're not yet able to tag friends like you can in Facebook's mobile apps. "Once we decided that photo uploading and sharing was going to be our first use case, the nature of Glass as it is today fits perfectly," Tseng says. "The platform worked wonderfully."

"From day one, both companies focused our time talking about what's best for the user experience."

Facebook's Glass app is remarkably similar to Google's Plus sharing feature, but Tseng says that's totally cool with Google. "There was absolutely no butting of heads," he says. "From day one, both companies focused our time talking about what's best for the user experience. Photos is such an important use case on Glass, but photos don't mean much when they're stuck on their device."

Tseng sees Glass as little more than another "connected device," like a Jawbone Up or Fitbit, that you can use to post to Facebook. "I look at Glass as another way people can interact with their larger social context," he says. "This just another way to plug into that world. What's exciting is that it's such a portable and flexible device that fits naturally into day-to-day life." Tseng wouldn't detail any future features like check-ins or News Feed browsing, but emphasized that more features were on the way. "We have a couple more things in the works to continue iterating on this app, but beyond that it's dependent on user feedback."