1) Facebook to Release a Smartphone!Facebook has received a lot of negative feedback over its poor mobile usability -- from consumers and advertisers alike -- but they have been taking strides to improve it. For example, consumers recently got a "Share" button so they can share another friend's update on their mobile devices just like they would on a desktop. And advertisers have received mobile-only ad targeting, allowing targeting for users only when they're using Facebook from, well, a mobile device.
Since Facebook and the mobile world need to get closer and closer together, it's certainly a possibility, but I think most people are agreeing that Facebook releasing its own smartphone isn't too likely for the 15th, considering Zuckerberg himself denied it in July of 2012. But hey, that was over five months ago ... that's a long time in internet years.
2) Facebook Finally Enhances Much Adored 'Poke' Feature!Because of public appeal, Facebook has invested millions of dollars and thousands of engineering man hours into the enhancement of its 'Poke' feature. On January 15th, users will be able to not only poke, but also pinch, flick, stroke, trip, slap, punch, or tickle a friend. Businesses will be able to do this to page fans, too.
3) Facebook Launches New Gaming Platform!If you recall (I didn't, until I read some news over at ITWire), during its IPO, Facebook identified gaming company Zynga as a bit of a weak point. Since they've been trying to separate from one another, it's possible Facebook will announce that its built its own gaming platform on January 15th. A gaming platform would be one more way for Facebook to earn even more revenue, on top of their growing ad network.
4) Facebook Builds, Launches "Facebot!"Facebook's been working on building an actual robot, available for purchase, that will follow you around and speak your status updates to you. This eliminates the need for people to spend all day scrolling through their Facebook News Feed to stay up to date on what their friends are posting. For a small monthly fee, robots will display the user's profile picture on its face.
If you'd like to stalk someone, simply speak the name of the friend to the robot, who will tell you what they're doing, where they're going, and who they've been talking to. If you have a private message, the robot will tap you on the shoulder and lean in for a whisper.
5) Facebook Unveils Site Redesign!Facebook's release of Timeline last year was the talk of the town -- some people loved it, some hated it (probably more than "some," but consumers are always up in arms about Facebook's changes), but all of us probably have a couple pieces of feedback on the layout. It's plausible, and many are chattering about this, that Facebook is announcing another redesign. It's pretty unlikely a redesign would do away with Timeline; you might notice other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn have adopted the horizontal cover photo because it is actually pretty sweet. Many are speculating it will do away with the two-column update layout we have on our current profiles and pages, and instead will replace one side with more tools and widgets.
There's also a possibility, however, that Facebook really will scrap the whole Timeline design and launch something totally out of left-field. After all, they've never been ones to fear experimentation and disruption.