Short Bytes: Facebook hacks are known for the constant innovation and implementation of even small yet significant ideas over its website. What small problems faced at Facebook office led to the design of these in-house hacks at Facebook? Know how and where these ideas came from.
Facebook is known for its in-house hacks. The healthy hacking culture of Facebook has produced ideas such as like button, tagging, rainbow over the profile picture, Facebook Messanger etc. Here are the 7 most famous in-house hacks of Facebook in 2015.
React+Oculus: Real-time coding for virtual reality
This is one of the most interesting hacks, it enables a developer to code in real time while wearing the Oculus headset. React+Oculus was developed by two Facebook engineers during an infrastructure hackathon.
According to the product manager Chris Marra, the team used Facebook’s React library to replace the DOM renderer with a custom version that utilizes three.js. As a result, while wearing the Oculus Rift headset, a user will see a dot that contains a window with components rendered in virtual reality. These selectors can be used to edit objects users are seeing, in real time.
This in-house hack helps make server hardware switches cooler and helps in maintaining the internet congestion on the server. Using on-board optics, the Facebook team was able to run a 300GB-per-second link over multi-mode fiber.
Recently you have noticed rainbow colored profile pictures on Facebook. These rainbow colored profile pictures were invented to show pride and support some cause over the internet. This idea of celebrating pride was invented by two interns at the Facebook. In just 72 hours, the duo leveraged Facebook’s existing code to create the tool. The filter was such a success that more than 26 million people updated their profile pictures with it on the weekend after its launch. Celebrate pride was used mostly to support social causes, sports team or some major step taken in this world.
Stetho was created as a debugging platform. It also has the privilege of being the first open sourced Android project by Facebook. This tool, which works as an extension, can be used to examine network traffic, view hierarchy, query SQLite databases etc. There are also other open source projects by Facebook which are available to the world.
Boomerang became an instant hit when it was ported over to Instagram. It’s more like a continuous mode sports pictures. With one touch, a user can take a series of pictures. These series of pictures can then be combined together to create an animated GIF like file.
Warp Speed Data Transfer
To curb the hustle of slow transfer of files between two databases, two Facebook engineers created Warp speed Data transfer. Those two engineers created an embeddable library and command line tool that will transfer files at more than 500GB per second. Later this hack was made open sourced, and the company says it’s adding new features to it regularly — including, most recently, encryption.
Securing email communication from Facebook
Every event and action taken by a user over Facebook involve users’ privacy. The communications taking place within the social network should also be private. Keeping these things in view, a team of engineers created a way for users to add OpenPGP public keys right to their profile, allowing them to receive encrypted email notifications.
If you are also aware of some of the unknown hacks by Facebook, do share with us in the comments below.