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201 articles
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Facebook Messenger Will Now Provide Background On Strangers And Friends You Don't Talk With Often At The Beginning Of Chats

Beep. Hmm, someone's messaging me on Facebook.

Checks notification.

"Hey!!! How's life?"

Great, who is this person? "... Do I know you?"

"OMG F U MAN!!1!"

Okay, maybe the strangers messaging you weren't quite as hostile, but we've all been there. A stranger wants to chat, and now you're left contemplating how to respond.

Well, according to TechCrunch, Facebook Messenger is rolling out a way to help users better deal with this issue in France, India, the UK, and the US.

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InBrief
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Facebook Messenger's Video Calling Feature Is Now Available Worldwide

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[App Roundup] Our Top Seven Picks For The Best New Apps Of April 2015

April was a bit sparse when it comes to new apps - there aren't any real standouts, though Facebook certainly made a splash with its self-branded phone dialer. The rest of the best picks from last month are mostly advanced tools for power users, or in the case of the impressive edjing, experienced music producers. Here in no particular order are our picks for the best of the lot, plus a few honorable mentions that might have broader appeal.

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Facebook Adds Free Video Calling To Messenger App, No Update Required

Facebook Messenger is adding a feature that, if you didn't use it, you would expect to already have. With today's addition of video chat capability, it has parity with the desktop chat interface that has long supported this. As a server-side switch, you should have this available so long as you are using a reasonably new version of the app.

web-messenger-video-call-button

As you see in the image above, there is a camera icon at the top of the conversation that will initiate the video chat.

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Facebook Announces Hello, A Dialer And Caller ID Replacement With Social Smarts

After popping up in a leak several weeks back, Facebook's Android dialer app has been released in the Play Store. Rather than going with the generic and confusing "Phone," the app is called Hello. You can place calls, see who's calling, and block incoming callers.

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Facebook Launches Riff, A Collaborative Video-Making App That Isn't An April Fools Joke

April 1st isn't the safest time to browse tech blogs on the web. One third of all of the posts that go up are likely a fake (this one, though, is entirely legitimate). Yet while Facebook's latest app looks like it could be a joke—it isn't. Riff is a collaborative way for friends to make videos with one another using the social network.

Riff1 Riff2 Riff3

Riff lets you shoot a clip that's up to 20 seconds long and share it for others to see.

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Facebook Introduces 'Scrapbooks,' A New Way For Parents To Tag And Organize Pictures Of Their Kids


One thing that Facebook has not been well-equipped to deal with is children. No, I don't mean teenagers. Most users are familiar with the barrage of photos that accompany each birth in the family of a Facebook friend, which often involves a mess of tagging of one or both parents in every baby photo. For parents themselves, they struggle sorting out photos of their sons and daughters unless they just dedicate albums to the children specifically.

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Facebook Publishes A Handful Of Android Apps For Its New Messenger Platform

Facebook's internal instant messenger isn't so internal now: it's a stand-alone app platform that will operate in conjunction with the social network, and developers of every flavor can integrate their apps with Messenger. Naturally the first apps to take advantage of this come from Facebook itself: new apps include Selfied, Shout, Sound Clips, and Strobe, and the older Stickered app has been updated, all with the "for Messenger" label.

They're simple little tools or toys that add a bit of fun to Messenger.

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Facebook Turns Messenger Into A Platform, Because Placing Apps Inside Of Apps Means More Apps For You

Facebook desperately wants to make itself an indispensable part of your mobile life. Selling phones didn't work, nor did replacing your homescreen. The company has had its share of misses, but Messenger has been an unambiguous win. The client has been adopted by hundreds of millions of users.

At this year's F8 (Facebook's annual developers' conference), the company fleshed out ways in which it intends to turn Messenger into a platform of its own.

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