Facebook isn't the first company you think of when privacy comes to mind. Nor is it second, third, or anywhere near the top dozen. It's lucky if it's anywhere on the list at all. But the company does own WhatsApp, the widely used instant messenger that started encrypting all messages earlier this year. Now Facebook is testing out that same encryption in Messenger. Read More
Facebook announced an all-new layout for its Messenger app today (presumably for Android and iOS, though only iOS screenshots were provided). The new "home" area in Messenger is designed to make the app more than just a dumb message hub, and much more of a "Facebook people I care about" hub. Instead of simply being a list of chats, Messenger will now show you your favorite contacts, upcoming birthdays (because Facebook), and who's online now. Recent chats will still sit at the top of the "home" area in the app, there just won't be as many living there anymore. Read More
We're probably all used to the panorama or photospheres we can take on our phones these days - compared to a normal photo, both are just so much more immersive. Facebook's obviously picked up on this, and is rolling out support for 360 photos on the web, Android, and iOS via its 'Facebook 360' initiative.
Looking at the 360 photo of the Supreme Court from The New York Times, the viewing experience is really good - tilting the phone alters the viewpoint of the picture, moving it smoothly and cleanly on my Nexus 6P. Functionally, they appear to be the same as what you'd see in the Google Photos app or on the web, but there's something about having the feature on Facebook that just makes it seem more real, more mainstream. Read More
A few months ago, it appeared SMS support was being tested in the Facebook Messenger app, with some sporadically seeing SMS show up in the settings, allowing them to turn it on. It seemingly disappeared, though, with no trace left for many people. Now, however, it's back in the latest beta for Messenger.
The implementation is a little different compared to before. To enable SMS, you don't go through Messenger's settings but Android's settings (I assume the process will be different on anything less than Marshmallow, but I don't know how). Head over to Settings > Apps > Advanced (the little cog in the top right) > SMS app and enable it there. Read More
Facebook appears to be testing a new option in its Android app among some users that will make the app use less of your precious geebees. However, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond a simple photo resolution switcheroo, reducing the size of images that appear in your News Feed so that downloading them consumes less data. Interestingly, the toggle for the feature is positioned directly at the top of Facebook's labyrinthine sidebar menu, which is prime real estate. It's possible a wide rollout implementation would see this feature nested down in the settings area, though, and that this current placement is simply an attempt to maximize engagement with the toggle among users with whom it is being tested. Read More
Facebook's Marketplace keeps surfacing in the news every few years. The feature was originally announced in 2007, then re-appeared in 2015, and was most recently spotted on iOS last month. And now it's showing up for users of the Android app.
The Marketplace is Facebook's way of tapping into local buying and selling. Right now, there are plenty of Facebook groups that offer you the option to list your used or new items for sale with a price, pictures, and get comments and messages from others about purchasing them. But the option is confined within Facebook's own group limitation: your messages are separate from your sales and as a buyer, you can't see all the items available for purchase around you unless you join and visit each group separately. Read More
Have you ever wanted to stream the videos you see on Facebook directly to your television? No? Well who could blame you, since most of them are either inane junk from your high school friends or comedy videos blatantly stolen from YouTube and then stickered to hell like a race car in a fire sale. But if for some awful reason you DO want to stream videos from Facebook to Chromecast, such as trying to get rid of all of your roommates really quickly, you'll soon be able to do so. Probably. Read More
It feels like Facebook is on a roll at the moment: Messenger has been getting lots of updates recently, as has WhatsApp, and there's new Instagram UI too. Now it's the turn of the main Facebook app. It would be an understatement to say it needs a lot of development time. If I had a dollar for every time I've seen a complaint about the Facebook app, I'd be richer than Mark Zuckerberg.
New Sharing Popup
The first item is the new sharing popup. We're not entirely sure when this first appeared, but it's there. The popup allows users to change where they're posting to - 'Post to Facebook,' 'On a friend's timeline,' and 'In a group.' This can be switched using the top spinner. Read More
Yesterday Brazil made headlines by once again blocking the function of mega-popular SMS replacement service WhatsApp for 72 hours. The reasons were... complicated. Apparently. We don't actually know the reason - the purpose of the ruling has been sealed by the court in the state of Sergipe which issued it. But fear not, Brazilian WhatsApp users: you now have access to the service once again, thanks to some quick work on the part of WhatsApp and the ruling of an appeals court. Read More