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Facebook Messenger has reached 1 Billion monthly active users

In the elite club of internet services with enough penetration to reach about 1/7th of the earth's population, members are few and far between. But now Facebook Messenger can say that it has earned the badge that gives it access to this exclusive circle. After getting to 1 Billion installs on the Play Store a year ago, Messenger is now boasting, for real, 1 Billion monthly active users.

Whatsapp, the other Facebook-owned chat service, got to 1 Billion monthly active users several months ago, in February, so Messenger is still playing catch-up with its in-house rival, but I'm sure Facebook is not crying over the friendly competition going on between these two.

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Facebook's Android app can now save offline videos

Approximately 98% of the videos posted on Facebook are ripped YouTube clips with annoying, aspect ratio-destroying text on the top and bottom, stolen and reposted by some radio station in Ohio that's desperate for social media "engagement." Even so, if you really want to save those videos, the Android app now lets you do so. Kinda. One of our readers spotted the new user interface features and the "Saved" video section in the app, but that word doesn't mean the same thing to Facebook as it does to other folks.

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Facebook is testing secret conversations with end-to-end encryption in Messenger

Facebook isn't the first company you think of when privacy comes to mind. Nor is it second, third, or anywhere near the top dozen. It's lucky if it's anywhere on the list at all. But the company does own WhatsApp, the widely used instant messenger that started encrypting all messages earlier this year. Now Facebook is testing out that same encryption in Messenger.

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Facebook Messenger's homescreen is about to get a total overhaul

Facebook announced an all-new layout for its Messenger app today (presumably for Android and iOS, though only iOS screenshots were provided). The new "home" area in Messenger is designed to make the app more than just a dumb message hub, and much more of a "Facebook people I care about" hub. Instead of simply being a list of chats, Messenger will now show you your favorite contacts, upcoming birthdays (because Facebook), and who's online now. Recent chats will still sit at the top of the "home" area in the app, there just won't be as many living there anymore.

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Facebook Adds 360-Degree Photos On Android, Videos In Comments Too

We're probably all used to the panorama or photospheres we can take on our phones these days - compared to a normal photo, both are just so much more immersive. Facebook's obviously picked up on this, and is rolling out support for 360 photos on the web, Android, and iOS via its 'Facebook 360' initiative.

Looking at the 360 photo of the Supreme Court from The New York Times, the viewing experience is really good - tilting the phone alters the viewpoint of the picture, moving it smoothly and cleanly on my Nexus 6P. Functionally, they appear to be the same as what you'd see in the Google Photos app or on the web, but there's something about having the feature on Facebook that just makes it seem more real, more mainstream.

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SMS Returns In Latest Facebook Messenger Beta

A few months ago, it appeared SMS support was being tested in the Facebook Messenger app, with some sporadically seeing SMS show up in the settings, allowing them to turn it on. It seemingly disappeared, though, with no trace left for many people. Now, however, it's back in the latest beta for Messenger.

The implementation is a little different compared to before. To enable SMS, you don't go through Messenger's settings but Android's settings (I assume the process will be different on anything less than Marshmallow, but I don't know how). Head over to Settings > Apps > Advanced (the little cog in the top right) > SMS app and enable it there.

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Facebook Is Testing A "Use Less Data" Switch In Its Android App

Facebook appears to be testing a new option in its Android app among some users that will make the app use less of your precious geebees. However, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond a simple photo resolution switcheroo, reducing the size of images that appear in your News Feed so that downloading them consumes less data. Interestingly, the toggle for the feature is positioned directly at the top of Facebook's labyrinthine sidebar menu, which is prime real estate. It's possible a wide rollout implementation would see this feature nested down in the settings area, though, and that this current placement is simply an attempt to maximize engagement with the toggle among users with whom it is being tested.

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Facebook Users May Be Able To Stream Videos From The Facebook Android App To Chromecast Soon

Have you ever wanted to stream the videos you see on Facebook directly to your television? No? Well who could blame you, since most of them are either inane junk from your high school friends or comedy videos blatantly stolen from YouTube and then stickered to hell like a race car in a fire sale. But if for some awful reason you DO want to stream videos from Facebook to Chromecast, such as trying to get rid of all of your roommates really quickly, you'll soon be able to do so. Probably.

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Twitter And Viber Reach 500 Million Downloads On The Play Store

When it comes to app download milestones, we like to celebrate the 500 Million and 1 Billion mark here on Android Police and more often than not, the apps are from Google's own portfolio which gives them a significant head-start on the competition by the mere fact that they usually come pre-installed on all Android devices. We've also seen Facebook and WhatsApp hit the 1B milestone, and Skype and Instagram and Dropbox reach 500M.

Still, this amount of downloads is out of reach for many apps and only the elite popular ones can get to it. Now, we're celebrating the 500 Million downloads milestone for two apps you've sure heard about: Twitter and Viber.

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