Facebook’s Home Video Clubs, Portal and Portal Plus, are sold today, one month after they were announced.
The products are almost exclusively focused on video estimation. While they also show pictures, play music and support a small number of video networks, their feature series is very limited at launch – you can not even browse Facebook on them.
You’re primarily meant to use them to chat with people over Facebook Messenger, and Facebook has built in some smart camera tricks to make it easier. Both devices have a single camera at the top, but the camera will zoom in and follow you around so you do not have to keep a phone on your face while chatting. This way you can move in a room and stay connected.
But the story of this product is not just what it can and can not do ̵
1; that is, people will be willing to bring a Facebook-connected microphone and camera at their home at all. Facebook has highlighted the integrity features built-in here (there is an off button that completely turns off the camera), but it may not be enough to comfort those who are already skeptical of the company who have recently visited privacy scandals.
Both Portal and Portal Plus are delivered today. They will be available from Facebook’s website, as well as through Best Buy and Amazon, which will also have the units in the stores. The smaller portal sells for $ 199, and the larger Portal Plus goes for $ 349. At launch, you can get a $ 100 discount if you buy two at once – meaning meaningful because you probably want another portal user to chat with.