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Facebook to announce mysterious new product next week

'A small team has been working on a big idea,' a letter to the media says

Facebook appears to have a new product up its sleeve that it will unveil next week at its headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

"A small team has been working on a big idea," said a letter sent to reporters on Friday, according to an ABC News report.

A new product will be announced at the event, slated for June 20, according to the report.

No other details were given. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the event.

Facebook's latest product announcement came on Wednesday, when the company unveiled hashtags to let people more easily surface content around specific topics on the site.

The introduction of hashtags is just the first of a series of features the social network plans to roll out to "surface some of the interesting discussions people are having about public events, people and topics," Facebook said in that announcement.

However, whether next week's big reveal will have anything to do with surfacing content or searching across the social network in any other way is unknown.

There was no formal media event to mark the availability of hashtags.

Facebook's last big product unveiling to be held at its headquarters was for Home, a suite of software for Android-powered smartphones to put the social network front and center on those devices.

During a briefing with reporters last month, Facebook reported that Home had attracted close to 1 million downloads.

Industry analysts said it's hard to guess at what Facebook might be up to, given the paucity of the details. Greg Sterling from Opus Research wondered whether it could be a new mobile product. Meanwhile, Brian Blau, a Gartner analyst, asked if it could be some different version of Home, which has been criticized by some users.

The release of Home has been delayed in Europe to address some negative user feedback.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


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