Messenger

Facebook Messenger adds a bunch of handy, Slack-like shortcuts

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Facebook Messenger shortcuts
It's now easier to send silent messages, GIFs, payments, and more.
Image: Meta

Facebook Messenger? Meta Messenger? Just Messenger? We don’t know what it’s supposed to be called these days. But we do know it just added a bunch of useful, Slack-like shortcuts that help you get things done faster.

You can use them to silently deliver messages without notifications, to find the perfect GIF, to send payments and more — all without having to fiddle around inside menus. And Meta says even more are coming later this year.

Facebook takes on Zoom, Group FaceTime with free video calls for up to 50 people

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Facebook on Friday announced new video calling features including Messenger Rooms, which allows users to host video calls of up to 50 people.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook announced Friday it will add the ability for free video calling for up to 50 people on its new video-calling service, Messenger Rooms. The change is taking direct aim at the Group FaceTime and the popular Zoom service that has taken the world by storm as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The expanded service will launch by days end in selected regions with a smaller number of users at launch, but will not be available for the maximum number for a few more weeks, the company said. 

Facebook creates experimental messaging app only for Apple Watch

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kip
Kit's interface is very simple.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook launched an experimental new app today that aims to make it easier to message friends and family from your wrist while stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new app, called Kit, short for “Keep in touch”, only works on Apple Watch. Kit can be used to send voice messages, your location, emoji and more all with just a few quick taps.

Facebook could bring Messenger back to its main app

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Facebook Messenger unsend
It’s about time!
Photo: Facebook

Facebook could bring Messenger back to its main app as part of its strategy to merge all of its chat services into one.

Evidence of the change has been discovered in recent code. Facebook is yet to confirm the move, but it certainly looks like it is already making preparations.

WhatsApp Business for iOS rolls out worldwide

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WhatsApp Business
Find WhatsApp Business in the App Store now.
Photo: WhatsApp

WhatsApp Business for iOS has begun its worldwide rollout.

The new app, which lets businesses connect with their customers in an instant, made its debut on iOS last month — but only in a small number of countries. Now you can get your hands on it anywhere.

Zuckerberg explains benefits of WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger merger

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It won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — but says it probably won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest.

In a fourth-quarter earnings call this week, Zuckerberg also explained the reasons behind the plan, such as increased security with end-to-end encryption. Many questions still remain unanswered, however.

Facebook could merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger by 2020

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Facebook messaging apps
Mark Zuckerberg was to integrate Facebook-owned, Instagram, WhatsApp and messenger.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook will merge its messaging apps, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, by 2020 under a new plan ordered by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Under the plan, the three apps will remain separate but integration would allow an Instagram user to directly chat with someone on Messenger.

Facebook spies on your messages to make sure you’re being good

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And you thought all those Facebook messages were secret. Sucker!
And you thought all those messages were private. Sucker!
Photo: kropekk_pl/Pixabay CC

Just when you thought Facebook couldn’t be more intrusive, the company has confirmed that it keeps an eye on our Messenger conversations to make sure we’re being good.

Messages you send are scanned to ensure they abide by Facebook’s rules — and if they don’t, they won’t be delivered.

Microsoft revamps Skype in a bid to do battle with iMessage

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Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Skype's overhaul is coming to iPhone soon.
Photo: Microsoft

Microsoft is rolling out a complete top-to-bottom overhaul of Skype in an effort to do battle with the likes of iMessage and Snapchat.

Its revamped service combines familiar Skype features like instant messaging and international calling with third-party service integration, improved group chat, and photo sharing with the ability to add annotations and emoji stickers.

Facebook Messenger is getting a new Data Saver mode

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Facebook
Facebook Messenger is going on a data diet.
Photo: Rob LeFabvre/Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger can be a real data hog if you’re a frequent user — especially if you send and receive a lot of GIFs, images, and videos. But that’s going to change thanks to a new Data Saver feature that’s currently being tested on Android.

Facebook Messenger now lets you Peek and Pop on iPhone 6s

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And you thought all those Facebook messages were private. Sucker!
Update Facebook Messenger now if you have an iPhone 6s!
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger is now even more awesome on iPhone 6s.

Thanks to the app’s latest update, you can now take advantage of useful 3D Touch gestures that let you Peek and Pop into all your ongoing conversations — and into all the media shared within them.

Facebook Messenger may soon add end-to-end encryption

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Facebook messaging apps
Messenger is finally getting encryption.
Photo: Facebook

Facebook plans to tighten security on its popular Messenger platform this summer, but it won’t be turned on for all users by default.

Messenger will add a new end-to-end encryption feature that prevents hackers and the government from being able to read your text messages. Facebook won’t be able to read your messages either though, and that will seriously hurt its ability to make bots great if you decide to opt-in to better security.

How to dig up all your hidden Facebook messages

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Facebook

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Facebook Messenger is more and more becoming my default chat tool as it’s the one app most of my buddies have, either on their laptop or mobile device, regardless of platform.

Thing is, Messenger filters a bunch of messages you’ve received, and I’m willing to bet you didn’t even know they were there.

If you want to find all those hidden Facebook messages, here’s how.