Much like Google, Facebook runs a lot of tests on its products, trying to gauge whether new things are a good idea. It tested a material update to Messenger, the Reactions button and Messenger SMS (which is still ongoing), multiple Messenger accounts, and probably more besides. Now it's got a new one for Messenger as well: a call tab.
You probably already know that users can make both video and voice calls through Messenger; there's even an app for it, although it hasn't been updated since August 2015. Before the material update, the option to place a VoIP call was on the lower action bar, alongside the one to search or start a new message. Read More
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a 7-second videos is worth a whole several hundred thousand words — depending on the frame rate. So why would you want your Facebook profile to limit you to one photo when there's more to you, your duckface, your pets, your babies, your partner, your family, your latest food order, than any photo can hold? Why not choose a video montage of all of these things that matter most to you, or maybe a short video of you smiling or giggling or being sexy and cool, because how else will anyone know that you're most awesomest'est person on earth? Read More
If you routinely upload photos from your phone to Facebook, you have probably noticed that the end result is what you might call potato quality. Facebook compresses all uploads regardless of the source to ease the strain on their servers, but mobile uploads have gotten it worse than those done on desktops. A new setting rolling out, though, allows users to opt into higher quality uploads from the Android app.
I am using the latest version of Facebook pushed to me from the Play Store, 126.96.36.199.59. With that said, the toggle for HD uploads did not appear immediately after I updated, so there may be a server-side switch involved. Read More
Raise your pitchforks and prepare to be outraged. Instagram is following in the footsteps of its big brother / master Facebook and working on switching its feed from chronological order to algorithmic. Maybe it was awed by how much love Facebook users felt toward that change in their feeds and it wanted a piece of the pie.
All sarcasm aside, there's an argument to be made about showing relevant posts first in social networks. If you don't religiously log in every few hours to see what's new and you just occasionally check it out, which is how I personally use Instagram, it would make sense to see content you're most likely to interact with first and not the latest blurry breakfast croissant or random shot from that friend you follow out of obligation, not interest. Read More
Facebook Messenger is the regular Facebook app's cooler cousin. It may not always know which look is fashionable, but it isn't afraid to experiment and adapt. If the app doesn't come out looking sharp the first time, it has no problem with returning back to the store, spending some time in the dressing room, and coming out with something different. Read More
There's this feeling floating around the Internet that Facebook is irrelevant. It's old. The kids have moved on. They're Tumblring, Vine-ing, Snapchatting, and Instagramming (okay, that one's owned by Facebook, but whatever). They wouldn't be caught dead using the same social network their parents sign into. Famous people aren't using it either. They've moved to Twitter.
What's a site like Facebook to do? Introduce live video. Read More
A leaked document indicates Facebook has a big change planned for Messenger this year, and it's not likely to make most users happy. The social network has reached out to its biggest advertising partners to announce the impending release of ads in Facebook Messenger. The ads will be tied to conversations, so Facebook is suggesting that businesses get customers to start Messenger threads with them now. Read More
Net neutrality is a tricky beast. The informal principle is usually applied to the idea of data providers charging more for specific services, but it can also extend to telecoms giving away specific services (and, by extension, charging more for everything else). That's the attitude of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, known locally as "Trai," expressed in a statement today. The regulator says that it will not allow any service provider to "offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on basis of content," more or less aligning India's wireless and landline data industry with the principles of net neutrality. Read More
Not to be outdone, WhatsApp today announced literally during Alphabet's earnings call minutes after it was announced Gmail had 1 billion MAUs that it, too, has joined the billion user club.
Unlike Gmail, the Facebook-owned communication service got there substantially quicker relative to its Play Store app: WhatsApp registered 1 billion installs on the Play Store in March last year, meaning it converted those installs into a billion MAUs in just 11 months. WhatsApp, of course, has also not been around nearly as long as Gmail, which makes it an even more impressive feat. Not to mention that here in the US most people have no freaking clue what WhatsApp is. Read More