Facebook Portal video chat device rolling out internationally

The rollout starts in Canada in June.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva

Facebook Portal


Facebook's Portal video chat device is coming to more countries. 

On Tuesday at F8, the social network's annual developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the product is first arriving in Canada in June, then more countries throughout Europe in the fall. 

Watch this: Facebook's Portal goes international and gets new app

The device, which Facebook first unveiled last November, lets people make video calls over the internet. It has augmented reality features to make people look like cartoons, and uses software to automatically let its camera frame a person on the screen as he or she walks around the room. 

Zuckerberg also said the company is bringing WhatsApp's end-to-end encrypted video calls to Portal -- doubling down on the CEO's new privacy-focused vision for the company. 

"Portal has done better than we expected," Zuckerberg said at F8. "Even if you can't physically be together, you can be together." 

This year's conference comes amid the most tumultuous time in Facebook's history. The social network is still reeling from its role in helping to spread disinformation during the 2016 US presidential election, as well as efforts from state actors to try to sway several subsequent elections. Facebook has also faced criticism for what critics have called a cavalier approach to user data, from traditional hacking breaches to reportedly using data as a bargaining chip with partner companies.