A leaked document indicates Facebook has a big change planned for Messenger this year, and it's not likely to make most users happy. The social network has reached out to its biggest advertising partners to announce the impending release of ads in Facebook Messenger. The ads will be tied to conversations, so Facebook is suggesting that businesses get customers to start Messenger threads with them now. Read More
Net neutrality is a tricky beast. The informal principle is usually applied to the idea of data providers charging more for specific services, but it can also extend to telecoms giving away specific services (and, by extension, charging more for everything else). That's the attitude of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, known locally as "Trai," expressed in a statement today. The regulator says that it will not allow any service provider to "offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on basis of content," more or less aligning India's wireless and landline data industry with the principles of net neutrality. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More
Parse is a service provider that has offered backend tools to mobile app developers who needed help storing data online and pushing information through the web, such as user login information and notifications. Now it's moving on. In a blog post, Parse declared a need to move resources elsewhere and its plan to wind down the service by January 28th, 2017. Read More
The game is on, the game is on! Some of us don't care too much about sports, but others are really, really, passionate about their teams. If you fall into the latter category then you either have a dedicated sports app on your phone where you follow all the scores and plays then celebrate or vent, or you go to Facebook or Twitter to share all of your happy and sad feels with your buddies. Now Facebook is ready to take your sports love to the next level by creating a central place for you to just follow and talk about your games on its network. Read More
Say what you will about Facebook's commitment to privacy, the company does offer a Tor address for secure, anonymous connections. That's cool, but you need to use a Tor-enabled browser. That will change in the coming days as Facebook rolls out support for Tor in the Android app. Read More
Facebook has many apps, side-projects, and different ways to suck you into its social network and try to get you to stay on it. One day it wants to be your news source, the other it wants to be your communication hub or your work's intranet. Facebook's Mentions launched in July 2014 with an iOS app as a way for celebrities to manage their pages, then was opened to all verified profiles in September 2015. Now the app has crossed the dark forest, jumped the big void, and ventured into the unknown abyss between iOS and Android and come to the Play Store. Read More
If you have more than a dozen friends on Facebook, odds are pretty good that at least one of them has started tagging every person on Earth with suspiciously misspelled advertisements for knockoff Ray-Ban sunglasses. Facebook would really prefer that this not happen, or at least not happen quite so often. To that end the company introduced the Security Checkup feature to the web version of the social network, and now it's available on Android as well. Maybe.
Security Checkup does a few things. First, it examines your password and suggests changing it if it's not strong enough. Second, it sends you alerts if someone logs in to your Facebook account from an unfamiliar or suspicious location. Read More
Facebook announced profile videos a couple months back, showing off the ability to play a moving picture when people first begin the page stalking process. This one minute video gives you an idea what to expect, minus the graininess that comes from using your phone's less than stellar front-facing camera. Read More