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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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It's not just you: Facebook Messenger is down in several regions worldwide

If you can't send or receive messages with Facebook Messenger, don't worry - you're not alone. According to DownDetector, which monitors site outages, Messenger is having problems in several regions worldwide.

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Facebook Live gets new Live Chat With Friends, Live With features

If you are a user of Facebook Live, you have a few new features to look forward to. Today Facebook has announced that it is adding Live Chat With Friends and expanding access to Live With, each of which increases the ways you can engage with your friends during a live broadcast. Live Chat With Friends will allow you to enter into a private conversation with your buddies while you are watching a live feed together, though the feature is only in testing on mobile in certain countries for now.

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[Very Real] ZeniMax sets its VR litigating sights on Samsung

The tale of ZeniMax vs. The World of VR is developing into a modern-day saga of Homeric proportions with each new filing. Although Oculus/Facebook was found innocent of ZeniMax's previous accusations, it did end up having to cough up around $500 million as a result of NDA violations, copyright infringements, and for lying about a few things. Even so, it seemed as if the general dance was winding down and all the monsters short of the inevitable appeals had been slain. But the Hydra's heads are many, and ZeniMax is back with a new target: Samsung.

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[Update: Rolling out] Facebook introduces Live Audio for voice-only broadcasts

After announcing Live 360, Facebook is continuing its crusade into the live broadcasting arena with an audio-only format cleverly named Live Audio. The premise is extremely basic: users will be able to broadcast their voices to any subscriber who may be tuning in.

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Facebook Messenger is testing yet more interface changes, with tabs and Instant Games section

We knew changes were incoming for Facebook Messenger after last month's F8 Developer Conference, during which the focus was largely on better discovery of bots and "Chat Extensions" to add those bots into group conversations. Now it seems Facebook is testing new UI changes, including top-level tabs and a games section in the bottom nav bar.

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