Facebook January 15 event (invite graphics)

Time to step back from the flow of news surrounding CES 2013. The social networking giant Facebook has just teased a media event scheduled for January 15 at 10am Pacific Time. The invite graphics doesn’t reveal much besides asking the media to “come and see what we’re building”. The company has been on a roll lately, having updated its Messenger app with VoIP calling (it’s Canada-only initially) and releasing Poke, a new app which lets you send quick messages, photos or videos…

The January 15 media event was first reported by SlashGear.

The company over the past few weeks has updated its official iOS client with new emojis and sharing capabilities, the Nearby and Photo Sync features and the ability to install third-party apps without leaving the iOS client, a feature available to all Apple developers.

Facebook has also gotten itself into hot water with users over the ambiguous terms of service suggesting it might sell your Instagrams to brands and advertisers. However, the unexpected fallout has forced it to clarify its intentions and return to the original terms of service.

Be that as it may, the Palo Alto company – which as of September 2012 has over a billion active users – is implementing new data sharing features that will pave the way to unified profiles, scheduled to go into effect January 16, just a day following the January 15 media event.

The Next Web reported that Facebook just started rolling out a nice single-column Timeline with greater emphasis on Messages, as depicted below.

Facebook single column Timeline

The feature has gone live for users in New Zealand, which is regularly Facebook’s first port of call for new rollouts. Author Jon Russell reached out to Facebook’s PR, but a spokesperson would only say Facebook has “no other details to share right now”.

Here’s a nice concept video for a redesigned Facebook experience.

We can dream, no?

According to the latest official stats, Facebook as of November 2012 had a staggering 192.8 million users on Android versus just 66 million users in September 201. By contrast, Apple’s platform grew from 66 million users in September 2011 to 147.2 million as of November 2012.

Facebook phone concept (image 001)

So, any educated guesses as to what Facebook might be unveiling come January 15?

A Facebook Phone, perhaps?