Facebook releases a version of Messenger that’s meant for the office

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2015

Facebook today launched a dedicated version of its mobile messaging software, Facebook Messenger, that’s meant to be used at work.

As reported on by TechCrunch, the applications is called Work Chat and available now for Android smartphones over at Google’s Play Store, while a version for iPhones is being worked on and scheduled to release soon.

The app is basically an expansion of Facebook at Work, the company’s business platform which has been in private testing for months now. Read More


Facebook’s facial recognition coming to Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 9, 2015

Facebook’s facial recognition technology, used on the site to offer suggestions for photo tags, is coming to the company’s Messenger mobile software, Re/code reported Monday.

With facial recognition, Messenger will run an analysis of the photos in your iPhone’s Camera roll that you haven’t uploaded yet. When it recognizes a face of a Facebook friend on a photo, you’ll get a notification to send them the image through Messenger, a cool feature if you snap a bunch of photos at parties that you routinely forget to send later to the attendees. Read More


Facebook testing new ‘M’ digital assistant feature within Messenger

By Cody Lee on Aug 26, 2015

Facebook on Wednesday began testing a new digital assistant feature called ‘M.’ As explained by Facebook Messenger lead David Marcus, the feature, which lives inside Messenger, is powered by artificial intelligence that can complete tasks and find information on a user’s behalf.

The artificial intelligence is both trained and supervised by real live humans, and unlike other AI-based services available today, it can do things like purchase items and deliver gifts. Of course it can handle normal chores too, such as booking restaurants and logging appointments. Read More


You can now sign up for Messenger with your phone number, no Facebook account needed

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 24, 2015

You no longer need a Facebook account in order to exchange instant messages with your contacts through the Facebook Messenger service. By dropping the Facebook account requirement, the social network hopes to bring in even more people under the Messenger fold.

By last count, Messenger had 700 million active users, approaching the 800 million user base of WhatsApp, a wildly popular messaging service Facebook acquired for a staggering $19 billion. Read More


Free video calling in Facebook Messenger rolling out to all users worldwide

By Christian Zibreg on May 20, 2015

Facebook confirmed today that free video calling in its mobile Messenger application has begun rolling out to all users worldwide. The feature launched in select markets on April 27, 2015.

“Quick update on video calling in Messenger: we’re happy to share we’ve now rolled out the capability globally, with the exception of a few countries we’re still working on improving quality for,” David Marcus, Messaging at Facebook, wrote in a post on Facebook this morning. Read More


Facebook launches standalone web version of Messenger

By Cody Lee on Apr 8, 2015

Facebook on Wednesday unveiled a new standalone web version of its Messenger chat service, giving users a way to message their friends and family without dealing with News Feed and other interruptions. It can be accessed at Messenger.com, and can be used in a browser tab on your desktop the way you’d use the mobile app.

“Messenger.com is for users who want to message without the other distractions that Facebook can provide,” a spokesperson told Recode. “If you’re messaging through Facebook, that means News Feed and your friends’ user profiles are nearby. Messenger.com is about focus.”  Read More


Giphy for Messenger brings the world’s largest GIF library to Facebook Messenger

By Lory Gil on Apr 2, 2015

GIFs are those wonderful little presents that you find online everyday to make you smile. Whenever someone sends me a GIF, it always brightens my day, usually because it involves cats doing something nefarious (or falling off of something).

Giphy for Messenger is a third-party Facebook Messenger app that lets you post all kinds of GIFs to your friends. Express any type of emotion to your girlfriend, RickRoll your buddy, and send me pictures of cats being evil. Read More


Facebook updates Messenger with third-party app support

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 30, 2015

After announcing support for select third-party applications inside its Messenger service last week, Facebook on Monday issued a refresh to the mobile messaging app which officially enables third-party integration.

Now available free in the App Store, the update puts a new button in the chat interface of Facebook Messenger. Tapping it brings up a sheet where you can browse and download supported third-party apps that extend Messenger’s functionality, like apps for sending and receiving animated GIFs and more. Read More


Ditty: a third-party Facebook Messenger app that sings your chats

By Lory Gil on Mar 27, 2015

It has only been a couple of days since Facebook announced that third-party app integration would be added to the social chat app. There are already dozens of GIF makers, custom avatar creators, and special sticker add-ons to bombard your friends and family with hilarity.

Ditty is a third-party Facebook Messenger app that turns what you write into music. Pick a song, type out your message, and watch it transform into a musical. The next time you want to cheer someone up, do it with a song set to your own, personalized lyrics. Read More


Facebook turns Messenger into a platform, opens API to third-party developers

By Jake Smith on Mar 25, 2015

Facebook unveiled at its F8 Developer Conference on Wednesday it will make its Messenger API available to third-party developers, making Messenger a platform, like previously reported.

Developers will not only be able to hook their apps into the service, but Messenger users will also be able to install apps and make purchases inside Messenger. Facebook says 40 apps are launching within Facebook Messenger right away.  Read More


Facebook readying Phone app, may turn Messenger into a platform

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 23, 2015

Facebook wants to be more than just a social network. The company has been working on a dedicated Phone mobile app and is considering moves to turn its standalone mobile Messenger service into a platform of its own, according to web reports Monday. The dedicated Phone app would show rich information about callers and automatically block calls from commonly blocked numbers.

As for enhancing Messenger, this could entail adding features beyond exchanging media and instant messages, like bringing news and way richer content sharing to the service.

We’ll know for sure next week at Facebook’s F8 conference, an annual gathering for Facebook developers where the company usually announce major platform advancements and new services. Read More


Facebook Messenger gains new peer-to-peer payments feature

By Cody Lee on Mar 17, 2015

Facebook announced on Tuesday that US-based Messenger users will be able to use the app to send money to their Friends. The process, similar to Square’s ‘Cash,’ involves linking a debit card to the service, which you can use to send money just as easily as a photo or text.

Users who have received the update will notice that the Facebook Messenger app now includes a small “$” icon above the keyboard, next to photo and sticker icons. Tapping this opens a payments screen where users can enter in the amount they wish to send to the recipient. Read More


How to use Facebook stickers in iMessage conversations

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 20, 2015

One of the things that I learned while visiting Korea last year is that Koreans love using an app called KakaoTalk. Kakao is a messaging app that pretty much everyone in Korea uses. It’s an app that’s instantly recognizable due to the bright, colorful, animated stickers that litter the conversations of passersby.

I’ve always thought that it would be cool if iMessage users could use animated stickers within the Messages app, and now it’s a reality thanks to a new jailbreak tweak called StickerMe. StickerMe takes the stickers available within the Facebook Messenger app, and brings them to an iMessage conversation near you. Read More


Facebook testing voice transcription feature in Messenger ahead of official rollout

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 18, 2015

Facebook has begun testing a new feature in its mobile Messenger software that can read transcripts of received voice messages in case you don’t want to listen to them.

The company is currently testing the feature with a tiny subset of Messenger’s more than 500 million users ahead of a forthcoming launch in the near future.

In addition to Messenger’s voice transcription capability, the firm announced buying a successful boutique design firm which has created popular mobile applications and online services, including the read-later app Readability and the rising blogging platform Medium. Read More


Facebook’s ‘Stickered for Messenger’ app now available on iOS

By Cody Lee on Dec 22, 2014

Facebook this evening released its odd ‘Stickered for Messenger‘ app for iOS. First released on Android last week, Stickered allows users to add some fun stickers to their photos before sending them off to friends and family on Messenger.

More specifically, the app allows you to snap a photo, or pull one in from your camera roll, and pick from hundreds of stickers to apply. You can move the images around, resize them, and then pop into Messenger to send off your work. Read More


You can now adjust focus and lighting of photos in Facebook Messenger

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 20, 2014

Facebook on Thursday issued a small update to its Messenger app for the iPhone and iPad, bringing out additional features to touch up the photos you take within the software using the built-in camera feature.

Now available in the App Store at no cost, Facebook Messenger 16.0 fixed an issue with sending messages while introducing a pair of new controls to adjust the focus and lighting of photos you take in the app. Read More


Mark Zuckerberg explains why you had to download Messenger as a separate app

By Sébastien Page on Nov 6, 2014

Facebook took a lot of heat back in July when it disabled messaging from the main Facebook app, forcing users to download the standalone Messenger app if they wanted to keep using the social network to send direct messages to friends and family. To most people, the move went vastly misunderstood, and it didn’t help that the company stayed mum about it. At least until now, because in a Q&A session earlier today transcribed by The Verge, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the issue. The reason? It’s all about removing friction. Read More


You can now preview stickers in Facebook’s latest Messenger update

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 29, 2014

The social networking giant Facebook on Wednesday pushed a small update to its Messenger client for the iPhone and iPad which lets you preview sticker animations.

Facebook Messenger 12.0 (what’s up with version numbers, Facebook?) allows you to press and hold down on a sticker to expand it and view any animations before sending it.

The app is available free in the App Store. Read More


Facebook Messenger updated with doodles and captions for your photos

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 16, 2014

Facebook Messenger has received its iPhone 6 compatibility fix nearly a month ago, unlike their main iOS client which only got refreshed with half-baked support for the new iPhone screen sizes yesterday.

Be that as it may, Facebook today issued a small Messenger update adding the ability to adorn your photos with captions and casual scribbles and sketches.

Messenger 14.0 (what’s up with version numbers, Facebook?) is free in the App Store.

Read More


Facebook working on money transfers through Messenger app

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 6, 2014

As Apple gears up to mainstream mobile payments with the recently announced Apple Pay service launching later this month, the social networking giant Facebook is developing its own peer-to-peer payment service that should allow users of its Messenger software to transfer money between themselves, as discovered by iOS developer Andre Aude.

The solution simplifies money transfers by levering the existing Messenger infrastructure and user interface, allowing users to pay for goods directly in the chat window just like you would attach a photo or a location. Read More

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