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


Facebook releases Moments for iPhone, a brand new private photo-sharing app

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 15, 2015

Billed as a private way to share photos with friends and an easy way to get all the photos of yourself trapped on your friends’ phones, Moments for iPhone by Facebook is now available for download in the App Store.

Following a few futile attempts to unseat Snapchat in the ephemeral messaging space, Facebook gave up and went to the drawing board to conceive a different take on private sharing where images won’t disappear after being viewed.

Their new iPhone app lets you organize and sync multiple photos in private albums that can be shared directly on Facebook or Instagram, and sent via Messenger. Using facial recognition, Moments groups your photos based on who’s in them and when they were taken. Your friends can then contribute to the synced moment with their own photos. Read More


Tim Cook takes jabs at Google and Facebook in speech about privacy and security

By Cody Lee on Jun 2, 2015

Tim Cook took time out of his busy schedule yesterday to talk about privacy with folks attending EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event in Washington. EPIC, a non-profit research center focused on emerging privacy issues, was honoring the CEO for his superior “corporate leadership.”

Cook addressed attendees via a remote video feed, and spoke about a number of topics regarding privacy, security and what they mean to Apple versus other Silicon Valley tech giants. TechCrunch has a transcription of the speech, and he takes quite a few jabs at Facebook and Google. 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 quick-loading, interactive ‘Instant Articles’ as an iPhone-exclusive feature

By Christian Zibreg on May 13, 2015

Facebook today announced a new ‘Instant Articles’ feature which is rolling out to its iPhone application later today. As the name implies, this iPhone-exclusive capability lets cherry-picked publishers craft versions of news stories for mobile screens that load in a fraction of a second.

The new, mobile-optimized reading experience includes interactive features from Facebook’s Paper app, with support for rich media such as photos and video and other embeddable content types like multitouch maps and more. Read More


Facebook Messenger launches video calling

By Christian Zibreg on Apr 27, 2015

Merely a week after flipping the switch on audio calling in the popular WhatsApp service, Facebook today started rolling out video calling to its Messenger app on iOS and across other mobile platforms.

As you know, Messenger already offers people the ability to make voice calls to friends around the world. By enabling cross-platform video calling across the ubiquitous messaging service, which commands 600 million users, the firm has enabled users to engage in face-to-face conversations with their friends and the people they care about, regardless of the platform of their choice. Read More


Instagram updated with new filters and emoji hashtags

By Cody Lee on Apr 27, 2015

Facebook’s Instagram posted an update today for its iOS client, bringing the app to version 6.11.0. The update brings about a handful of improvements, including new filters and the ability to use emoji in hashtags.

The new filters include Lark, Reyes and Juno, and Instagram describes the creative tool additions “as a family of modern, subtle filters that brighten and enhance your photos in refined, beautiful ways.” 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, and can be used in a browser tab on your desktop the way you’d use the mobile app.

“ 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. is about focus.”  Read More


Instagram announces new ‘Fade’ and ‘Color’ tools

By Cody Lee on Apr 7, 2015

Instagram on Tuesday announced that it would be adding two new options to the suite of tools in its photo editing app. Those tools are ‘Fade’ and ‘Color,’ and they will allow users to further tweak the appearance of their photos before sharing them on the social network.

More specifically, Color will bring about the ability to tint the highlights or shadows within photos with choices of yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, blue, cyan and green. Fade, on the other hand, will enable users to bring a quiet tone to their photos by softening colors. 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 launches Riff app to make videos with friends

By Jake Smith on Apr 1, 2015

Facebook has launched yet another standalone app, called Riff, that will give you and your friends the chance to go viral.

Riff, available to download on the iTunes App Store and what was born as a side project, is an app that allows you to create videos with friends. The goal is to see how far your video can spread, with your friends’ help.  Read More


Kids under 13 can now have Facebook presence with new Scrapbooks feature

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 31, 2015

Facebook on Tuesday announced a better way for parents to organize photographs of their toddlers and kids under 13 on the service, the Scrapbook.

Rolling out in the United States across Facebook’s mobile apps for iOS and Android, in addition to the desktop interface, this optional new feature actually allows children under 13 who are not normally permitted to create a Facebook profile to have an official presence on the service, sans the actual profile.

Facebook’s internal survey has found that 65 percent of the parents who share pictures of their children on the service tag their partner in these photos to share them with their partner’s friends. 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 may soon host some news website’s content, you’ll never leave

By Jake Smith on Mar 24, 2015

Facebook is working to strike deals with popular publishers and news websites to allow their content to be hosted right within the Facebook website, meaning you’ll never leave – sorry. The rumor comes from the New York Times, citing unnamed sources, and comes as Facebook wants to make consuming content more seamless. 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


Apple named as potential tech company to buy Boeing internet satellite

By Jake Smith on Mar 16, 2015

Apple is among technology companies who Boeing is looking to strike a deal with this year to build a high-throughput communications satellite, according to Reuters. Read More


Screenshots show WhatsApp for iOS’ calling feature currently in beta

By Jake Smith on Mar 6, 2015

Italian blog iPhoneItalia has posted a series of screenshots showing the new calling feature currently in beta testing for WhatsApp, the hugely popular communications app owned by Facebook.

WhatsApp has been rolling out the functionality to select users as part of a beta testing program over the past few months, with plans to release it to the public in the near future. Since more texts in the world are being sent through WhatsApp than traditional SMS, the new VOIP calling from WhatsApp could be a very big deal. Read More