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Facebook says goodbye to the Groups app on September 1

In its quest to bring all of the things into the core application, Facebook has decided to sunset the Groups app on September 1. If you're not deep in the FB world, then you might be forgiven for forgetting that this even existed — I sure did.

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Stories that link to faster-loading webpages will soon see priority in the Facebook app's News Feed

In its continuing quest to improve your News Feed/app experience, or just be creepy, Facebook has announced a shift in how it shows you external links to other webpages. The gist is that FB will show you more stories that will load faster, and less of the ones that may take longer for you to see.

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[Update: Now available in the Play Store] Game Live from Samsung will live stream your screen to Facebook, Twitch, or Youtube

Samsung gets a lot of stick for what's perceived as bloatware on its devices, even if that situation has improved somewhat in recent years. With that, it's easy to forget that the Korean company does actually produce some really useful software, as evidenced by a new app that's aimed at mobile gamers. Samsung Game Live will allow users to live stream their gaming prowess to various other services.

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Facebook is testing a standalone video chat device, could be running Android

According to a report from Bloomberg, Facebook is building a video calling device for the home, in what is essentially a new product category. It apparently has a laptop-sized screen and smart camera technology that gives users the impression of being in the same room as one another.

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Facebook expands in-app WiFi finder globally

Cellular data is all well and good when it works, but maybe you're in an area with spotty coverage, or perhaps you are traveling in a foreign country. That's when you need some WiFi, and now Facebook would like to help you find it. The "Find WiFi" feature that was being tested in a few countries is now rolling out globally.

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Facebook celebrates 2 billion monthly active users

This is a little bonkers. Out of the 7.5 billion people living on the planet, give or take a few hundred million, 2 billion visit Facebook at least once a month. On a conservative estimate, that's 1 out of any 4 people alive right now... any 4 humans, be it newborns, kids, teenagers, adults, elderly people, those without internet access, those in war-torn countries, those sick and unconscious, those living in the hidden nooks and crannies of our planet... literally one out of any four persons.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the news on his Facebook feed and it was later followed up by a post on the official Newsroom blog with more stats and a couple of new things.

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Facebook's Messenger adds new Snapchat-like filters, animated emoji, and masks

Today Facebook has announced a bunch of new ways to add a bit more fun to video messaging via its Messenger platform. You can now add animated emojis which augment your own reactions in real time, overlay a variety of filters to jazz up your video feed, and take advantage of some new mask options. And if any of those new features result in an image you'd love to save, you can even capture screenshots from video chats directly from the application. 

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Facebook is testing a new Profile Picture Guard in India

Facebook, for better or for worse, remains one of the primary ways people communicate with each other online. So it should come as no surprise that India, with somewhere around 450 million internet users, is one of Facebook's primary markets. Today the company announced that a test pilot program has begun in India, focusing on increased control over user profile pictures.

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Facebook is rolling out a dedicated button for adding GIFs to comments

Sending a GIF through Facebook's Messenger app is pretty easy. It's long been possible to send GIFs quickly using the dedicated button, and the app recently added support for GBoard's GIF search feature, giving you even more choice. Sending a GIF in the main Facebook app has been a little trickier, however, first having to find a one elsewhere and then copy/paste it in. To celebrate 30 years of GIFs (I had no idea they were that old, either), the Facebook app now also includes a GIF button right in the text field, allowing you to search for and send one without leaving the app.

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Facebook's new Android TV app plays videos from your feed (and that's it) [APK Download]

Android TV apps vary greatly in terms of functionality. Some are close to what you get on a phone, but others are focused on a single experience. Case in point, the Twitter app for Android TV that only shows you videos. The new Facebook app is similar—this app simply makes it easier to access the videos in your feed.

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