Update: Palo Alto has revealed a time and day for the launch: Facebook to "launch something awesome" on July 6, 2011.
Facebook is set to launch a new feature next week, possibly in the mobile or tablet arena. Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters in a visit to Facebook's Seattle office on Wednesday that the company planned to "launch something awesome" next week, according to Reuters. Unsurprisingly, Facebook has declined to comment further.
The project was developed at the 40-person Seattle office, Facebook's only major engineering center outside of its Palo Alto, California headquarters. The Seattle office has been particularly focused on the company's mobile efforts, playing a central role in the development of Facebook's unified mobile site, which was unveiled at the end of March 2011.
Speculation has hit an all-time high. Some believe it is an official Facebook iPad app, which would be the first tablet app developed by the social network. Others think it could be the recently leaked Facebook photo sharing app for the iPhone. Either of these seem plausible to me.
A few think it could be codename Project Spartan, an HTML5 platform that will take on Apple's App Store. Even less likely, but still possible, is the unveiling of some kind of integration with either Netflix or Skype, which would be awesome indeed.
Last but not least, it could be something that we haven't heard about yet. If Facebook could pull that off, it would show that the company can still develop a product without it leaking out early.