Ever since Google rolled out public beta applications through the Play Store, some of the biggest names in the game have jumped on board to essentially crowdsource bug discovery in upcoming releases. Among those that are now offering users access to early versions of its software is Facebook, which released a beta version of its primary application earlier this year. The company has now done the same with its Messenger application.
Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for way too much money, making the app's developers very wealthy individuals. This deal, theoretically, gives Facebook access to the data provided by the app's nearly half a billion users. The companies behind the social network and the instant messenger have both promised that WhatsApp will continue to operate autonomously, but this hasn't completely alleviated privacy concerns. Thus WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has shared a blog post aimed at "setting the record straight."
In it he states:
Facebook pushed an update to its Android app today that brings a handful of useful photo features, like the ability to post an image as a comment – something that's been available on the web for quite a while. Otherwise, you can now also delete and/or edit photo albums, untag yourself in photos, and upload multiple images at the same time. Group admins can now easier pin and unpin posts, as well.
Earlier this month Facebook celebrated its 10-year anniversary by introducing "Look Back" videos, bite sized glimpses at what each of us have shared on the social network over the years. Depending on how active a person you are on the site, these short clips may fill you with overwhelming nostalgia as you look back over time gone by. But Facebook's videos are capable of more than that - they can also serve as brief reminders of who you are and the kind of life you've lived, and they can do this even after you're gone.
Facebook's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp was certainly yesterday's biggest story when it came to web and social news. But according to Amir Efrati of The Information, there's an interesting backstory that didn't make it into the financial pages. He reports that six months ago, Google offered to pay WhatsApp to notify the larger company if they received an acquisition offer from anyone else. While an exact amount hasn't been disclosed, the deal was reportedly worth "millions of dollars."
The Information's anonymous sources say that WhatsApp declined the offer - surely a hard pill to swallow for a startup company, even one with the fantastic number of users that WhatsApp boasts.
Your Facebook feed is about to get slightly less infuriating. No, your friends aren't going to spontaneously start believing the same things you do. Facebook has decided to end sponsored stories. Those are the posts that float to the top of your feed informing you that one of your friends has interacted with a brand or product on Facebook. Well, no more.
We've received an early look at an upcoming version of Facebook that introduces a brand new, flat UI. This is a change that competing social networks like Twitter and Pinterest made a long time ago, and given the direction Android, iOS, and Windows Phone have all moved in, it only makes sense. When considering Facebook Messenger's recent redesign, it's even less surprising. Yet this is pre-release software, so there's a decent chance none of these changes will make it into the stable version.
Yesterday Facebook announced that it was revamping its Messenger app, stripping it of SMS functionality and creating a more attractive, streamlined experience that the company hopes will draw more users to the app. The new version is currently rolling out to a limited number of users, with a wider release planned for the coming weeks. So when it arrives, what should you expect?
To get started you're going to hand over the keys to everything, including your car, before using the app.