Skip to main content

Facebook Launches Antivirus Marketplace; Android Updated

Facebook said on Wednesday that it has launched the Antivirus Marketplace, a portal where social junkies can download trials of antivirus software from the likes of McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, Sophos and Microsoft. The news isn't surprising given the amount of malware that's floating around on the social network and its inhabitants' PCs.

"The AV Marketplace enables people to download six-month licenses to full versions of anti-virus software at no charge," the company said. "Facebook’s global community can now download for free powerful software to protect their computers from current and future viruses, and content security threats providing hundreds of millions of people free access to anti-virus software."

In addition to serving up products, Facebook said it has also teamed up with the security firms to use their URL blacklists, and add them to its own system, thus protecting Facebook users even more by blocking access to malicious links. The firms will also provide important educational materials via the Facebook Security Page.

"Our URL blacklist system, which scans trillions of clicks per day, will now incorporate the malicious URL databases from these security companies to augment our existing level of protection," the company said. "This means that whenever you click a link on our site, you benefit not just from Facebook’s existing protections, but the ongoing vigilance of the world’s leading corporations involved in computer security."

According to Facebook, less than 4-percent of content shared is actually spam compared to nearly 90-percent of email.

Also on Wednesday Facebook announced that it updated the Android app with an interesting feature: the ability to distribute all kinds of additional Android apps. Facebook developer Michael Marucheck reports that users can now discover native apps directly from Facebook for Android using the same social channels, such as Requests, Bookmarks, and News Feed, that are available on other platforms.

"After introducing social app discovery for mobile web apps on Android and native apps on iOS, apps and games like Pinterest, BranchOut, Diamond Dash, and Words with Friends quickly started seeing millions of people visit their apps from Facebook every month," he said. "With this release, social app discovery for native apps is available on both Android and iOS."

Facebook for Android 1.9 also adds Messenger and Camera shortcuts in the app tray for sharing photos and messages right from the home screen. It also comes with many of the messenger features found in the standalone Messenger app including mobile/online status, adding people to a group conversation on the fly and more.