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Facebook Unveils M, A Virtual Assistant Inside Messenger That's Partly People Powered

Facebook is getting in on the digital assistant game currently occupied by the likes of Google Now, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana. But the social network is taking a different approach with M, the name of its virtual pal. This little helper waits around inside Messenger to answer your questions, and in those instances when its algorithms can't come up with a solution, there are real people working behind the scenes who can.

That's right, Facebook says that M's artificial intelligence is trained and supervised by real people. This partially confirms the Moneypenny rumor circulating last month that the company was developing a digital assistant of its own.

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Report: Facebook Is Working On A Personal Assistant Called 'Moneypenny' To Compete With Google Now, Possibly Use Humans To Perform For-Fee Tasks

According to an anonymously-sourced report from The Information, Facebook is working on their own entry into the virtual assistant market. Unlike Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, however, early indications are that Moneypenny—the current name used internally to refer to Facebook's offering—could be more service-oriented than the machine-driven, contextually-aware competition.

It is expected to be integrated with Messenger, but it would likely be a waste if it were not a part of Facebook's web and mobile interface as well.

At this point, details are very sparse. The Information speculates that Moneypenny may resemble startups like Magic and GoButler, which use humans to fulfill user requests for a fee.

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Facebook Is Adding More Controls For Your News Feed, Set Friends And Pages To Always Appear On Top

If you're not an absolute Facebook junkie, chances are you might be missing out on posts from the people you most care about. The change from most recent to "top stories" was designed with this in mind, but it isn't foolproof. After all, Facebook's algorithms can only guess who you think is important. With newly-announced additions to the news feed preferences, users can now designate pages and profiles that will appear at the top of the feed by default.

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I can think of several members of my family who will value this option a lot. The user-set top posts will have a star on their top right corner to signal why they are there.

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Facebook's New Ad Manager App For Android Lets You Peddle Your Wares Across The Social Network Using Your Phone

Facebook is free because it makes its money off ads, otherwise known as the attempts to sell you things based off all the personal information you and your friends pump into the social network. Well, those ads don't just pop up out of the nothingness of the web. Someone creates and pays for them. Now with Facebook's latest app, said someones can do that from their mobile devices.

FAM1 FAM2 FAM3

The Facebook Ad Manager is aimed at small and medium business owners who want to reach out to the people in their areas. It provides the tools to see how many people an ad reaches and whether anyone clicked.

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You Can Now Sign Up For Facebook Messenger Without A Facebook Account

Facebook would really appreciate it if you would help them take over the world. You know, if you're not too busy or anything. To that end, they've decided to make Facebook Messenger (recently graduated from a simple social network feature to a quasi-platform) truly stand on its own. So now you can use Facebook Messenger even if you're not one of the billion or so people with a Facebook account - or even if you are, and you don't want to associate your account with your messages.

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Facebook made the announcement in its official Newsroom blog, encouraging new users to simply use their phone numbers to create a Messenger profile.

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Google Shoots First, Asks Questions Later With AirDroid After Broad Facebook Trademark Complaint

Last night, we received a tip that the Play Store listing for AirDroid, a popular app that allows users to see notifications, respond to messages, and manage content from their Android devices on a desktop, had been removed from the Play Store. The listing was directing to Google's infamous "Not Found" page.

We reached out to the AirDroid team who, at the time, were still trying to figure out what had happened. As it turns out, Google had removed the listing after a mass-complaint from Facebook. The sweeping set of complaints picked up tons of apps with "WhatsApp" in their names, but also apps - like AirDroid - that simply mentioned WhatsApp in the description.

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Facebook v37 Is The First Version That Can Be Moved To An SD Card, But It's Kind Of Weird Right Now

Google may not love SD cards anymore, but there are still plenty of users who do. If you're packing an SD card in your phone or tablet, there's a surprise coming your way. The v37 beta release of Facebook can be moved from the internal storage to the SD card, but there are some weird things going on with the implementation.

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Left: on internal storage, Right: on SD card

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Hello Dialer From Facebook Updated To Version 2.0 With New Layout, Missed Call Notifications, Contact Filters, And More

Facebook's Hello dialer is an interesting extension of the social service into core telephony functions. That said, the original release was a bit barebones and left a lot to be desired. Version 2.0 (which has come just a couple of months after the initial release) adds some important features and a tweaked interface that should win it a few more converts from the stock dialer app. Chief among these are the ability to filter the contact view to just those contacts with phone numbers, and notifications for missed and blocked calls.

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You want more? How about a new "card" layout for incoming calls that lets you answer in one swipe?

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Facebook Releases 'Moments' App To Make Sharing Photos With Friends Easier

So you were at a party or on a trip, and you want to share the photos of the event with everyone else who was there. Better upload them, make an album, send links, and so on. Right? Wrong! Or so says Facebook. The new Moments app lets you create synced albums that are shared only with the people you choose so they can view and save the photos.

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Facebook Messenger Becomes The 10th Android App With Enough Installs To Join The Billionaire Club

"Don't forget me, guys," Facebook Messenger said as it scooted in through the door that nearly closed in its face.

"Sorry, didn't see you coming," YouTube said. "You have one billion views?"

"Installs, and yes," Gmail said, putting down a bottle of something expensive and walking over. "See?"

Screenshot 2015-06-09 at 2.19.56 PM

"It was only a matter of time," Gmail, the oldest member of the club, continued. "I started drafting Messenger's invite back when Facebook first got in."

Gmail gestured its glass towards the table where Facebook was seated, networking with a couple of apps it didn't like.

"Yeah, I never received that message," Facebook Messenger said.

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