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Facebook’s New Portal Video-Calling Devices Let Users Co-Stream Music, Video

October 08, 2018 / Brittany Vincent

Facebook unveiled Portal, video-communication devices that incorporate smart-speaker features using Amazon’s Alexa, and provide a way to listen to music and watch videos together with friends.Portal ($199) and the larger-screen Portal+ ($349) will begin shipping in November. The devices, which feature 12-megapixel cameras, make video calling “easier and more like hanging out,” according to Facebook. Users can make calls to any Facebook or Messenger user.Portal enables shared activities like listening to music together or watching shows. For the initial launch, Facebook has pacted with Spotify Premium, Pandora, and iHeartRadio on the audio side, and will let Portal users stream videos from Facebook Watch, Discovery’s Food Network and E.W. Scripps’ Newsy. More media partners are in the queue, the social giant said.Facebook’s Portal devices include Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, so users can ask the devices for things like sports scores and weath...