By Christian Zibreg on Jul 14, 2015
Facebook is working on a personal digital assistant of its own, designed specifically for use with its popular Messenger mobile software.
Referred to internally as “Moneypenny” after Miss Moneypenny, a secretary to M in the James Bond films, it will reportedly allow Facebook Messenger users to perform tasks like checking the weather, buying products and more.
According to a report by The Information, hidden behind the paywall, one crucial difference will set apart the James Bond-inspired digital assistant from the likes of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Google Now, Amazon’s Echo and others: it will be human-powered. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2015
Facebook on Thursday introduced and updated set of controls letting you finally tell the service precisely what you want to see in your News Feed, as opposed to relying to Facebook’s mysterious algorithm which surfaces posts its servers think you want to see while demoting others it flagged as uninteresting.
The reworked controls now permit you to actively shape and improve your personalized News Feed experience.
You also get more control over what you see in your News Feed via a brand new ‘See First’ option designed to help you prioritize whose posts you don’t want to miss to ensure you’ll always find them at the top of your News Feed. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 9, 2015
Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and other popular music-streaming services could be faced with competition from Facebook as the popular social network is reportedly planning a streaming-music product of its own, Music Aally reported Thursday.
Facebook has been testing ad-supported native videos with a small group of media partners, but that was just a prelude to discussions with major labels about “getting into music” with a full-on subscription product. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jun 29, 2015
Facebook has been testing a new photo uploading experience in its mobile app with a limited number of users, TechCrunch reported Monday.
Facebook for iPhone and iPad now lets people optionally adorn their photos with text overlays, touch them up with quick color adjustments and make them more interesting with crazy photo stickers, all before uploading them to the service. The new photo uploader is not live for everyone yet, but we’ll keep you posted. Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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