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Facebook at Work is now Workplace by Facebook, available for all companies

Over a year ago, Facebook began testing their internal communication tool, Facebook at Work, with a number of organizations. Not only has Facebook renamed the platform to 'Workplace by Facebook,' they are finally publicly releasing it. Starting today, any company can use Workplace.

In the same vein as Google+ for Work, Workplace tries to adapt social networks for internal use at businesses. Facebook's news feed, search, trending posts, live video, and more have all made the jump. Workplace also features unlimited file, photo, and video storage, monitoring tools, team and project groups, and Single-sign on (SSO) support. Integration with G Suite (the new name for Google Apps for Work), Okta, OneLogin, Ping, and Windows Azure AD is also supported.

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Facebook officially announces Marketplace, an easier way to buy and sell items locally

Facebook has been planning some form of a Marketplace feature for years. It was first announced in 2007, then didn't really happen. Finally in 2015 it began appearing for some iOS users, and earlier this year, on Android as well. Now Facebook has finally released the feature publicly, on Android and iOS alike.

Facebook has always had Groups specifically for buying/selling items locally, and Facebook reports that "more than 450 million" people visit these groups each month. The new Marketplace feature is simply a better way to do what people already use Facebook for. The new Marketplace tab is a welcome change from using Facebook Groups in terms of sorting; you can filter items by location, category, or price.

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[Update: APK Download] Facebook releases Messenger Lite, a cut-down version of Messenger for emerging markets

Facebook Lite was released early last year, and it's pretty good - it takes up less space than the regular Facebook app and consumes much less data. As a follow-up, Messenger Lite is now available, meaning phones in countries where data is thin on the ground and people with small amounts of storage can use Messenger as well.

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Facebook Messenger gains Direct Share on Marshmallow and above

Facebook Messenger, mostly just referred to as Messenger these days, (or "I'll send you a link on Facebook") has improved at a rate of knots over the last year or so. It's had a material overhaul, nicknames and color functions added, group calling, games, new emojis, SMS support, and probably a lot more. Today another new feature has arrived Messenger, especially for Android: Direct Share.

In my travels across the web, I've seen many people asking for this feature. Well, now it's here, and it works as well as you'd expect it to. Find a tweet, reddit post or comment, a link, anything that brings up Android's share menu, and if you're running at least version 88.0.0.11.69 or above (thanks, Alexander Sofinskiy), plus Android 6.0 Marshmallow or 7.0 Nougat, you should see your most-messaged people appear in the Direct Share menu above the apps.

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Facebook Messenger introduces Instant Video, an answer to Google Duo

In a Google Duo world, do you really want to fire up an old-fashioned video chat? Facebook figures your answer is 'prolly not,' so it's simplifying the experience inside of Messenger. This change is called Instant Video.

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WhatsApp updates Terms of Service and Privacy Policy to add sharing information with Facebook

WhatsApp today has updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for the first time in four years, to reflect changes made in the app since that time. Perhaps the most important changes regard information sharing with Facebook and the 'Facebook family of companies,' and updates concerning WhatsApp Calling, which launched over a year ago now.

The changes regarding Facebook mean that some information on a WhatsApp account can be shared with Facebook to help improve the company's products and services. This should allow for better spam fighting and abuse, as well as seeing "better friend recommendations and more relevant ads on Facebook."

So what information is actually being shared from WhatsApp to Facebook?

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Instagram reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, the 19th app to do so

The latest app to join the rather exclusive 1 billion club on Google Play is... drumroll please... Instagram. This is quite surprising when estimates only put the number of accounts at 500 million, but I guess the downloads counter doesn't differentiate between unique installs or not. Either way, it scares me that Facebook owns the two biggest social networks in the world.

After the Facebook app, then WhatsApp, then Messenger, Instagram is the fourth of Facebook's apps to get 1 billion installs. Again, scary. Getting 1 billion installs is no easy feat - especially since at the last count Android only had 1.4 billion users.

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[Update: Rolling out] Facebook Messenger "Secret Conversation" encryption appears in beta app

A few months after WhatsApp started encrypting all conversations by default, and a few weeks after Facebook announced encryption was coming to Messenger too, Facebook has turned on the security feature, with 'Secret Conversations' available to beta testers of the app.

Secret Conversations do have a few caveats users should probably be aware of. They are not turned on by default, and neither is end-to-end encryption. A normal Messenger conversation can be made secret by a toggle - more on that in a minute - and these conversations will be encrypted.

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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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