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messenger

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Facebook Messenger Now Has Group Call Feature, Global Rollout Has Started

Facebook's been making some big improvements to Messenger recently, and the latest is no different: group calling is coming, with the global rollout having started yesterday on both iOS and Android. As is now usual with Messenger, the web app (on both facebook.com and messenger.com) will probably get the update at some point in the future.

Group calling works as you'd expect: tap on a group chat and, if the feature has rolled out to you yet, there will be a phone icon in the app bar. Tap this and it will bring up a dialogue asking who you'd like to include in the group call.

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[Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3] Facebook Is Testing A New Call Tab On Messenger

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.

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Messenger v1.8 Fixes A Major Crashing Bug On Android N And Adds Manual Override For Incorrectly Detected Countries [APK Download]

An update to Google's Messenger application rolled out yesterday afternoon. Like a lot of other updates lately, this one appears to be centered around clearing up bugs and issues rather than adding new features. For regular travelers or those that have some compatibility issues with their local carriers, there is now an option to override the automatic country detection the app currently performs. Those users on Android N can also look forward to a fix for a pretty critical bug that could cause Messenger to crash with a simple YouTube link.

What's New

Bug Fix: YouTube Links No Longer Crash Android N

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For those people living on the edge with the Android N Developer Preview running on their primary (or only) phone, there can be some pretty critical bugs that tend to break things in really unexpected ways.

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Google Messenger v1.7 Adds A Wear App That Won't Work Until Wear Gets Marshmallow [APK Teardown]

It has been a little while since we've seen an update to Messenger, so something potentially big was expected from this release. Version 1.7 doesn't seem to bring any visible changes, but like a sugary cereal box, there is a cool toy hidden inside. Messenger will have its own Android Wear app, just like Keep, Play Music, and a few others. But in a quirky twist, this mini app can't be installed quite yet, not until your Wear watch receives an update to Marshmallow.

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WSJ: Google Is Building Another Messaging Service... With Chatbots [And Blackjack, And Hookers]

Google, for all its skill in the realms of mobile search, advertising, email, and even operating systems, has never been particularly good at the social thing. Even now, I suspect, someone at Google is fuming at the notion that the company "isn't very good" at messaging or social networks and pointing animatedly at the tens of millions of Google+ and Hangouts users. The problem is and has always been that for whatever success Google has had in social and messaging platforms, it is constantly undercut by the actions of Google itself that say otherwise. There is near-yearly reworking, redesigning, or branching off of these products in ways that very strongly suggest they aren't getting the results Google's Alphabet overlords consider acceptable.

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Yahoo Brings Messenger Into The Modern Era With Likes, Unsending, Animated GIFs, Mass Photo Sharing, And More

It's easy to laugh at Yahoo. Other tech brands like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft have grown in prominence over the last ten years. But rather than improve, Yahoo has mostly just continued. It's still a giant presence. Millions of people use its services. It just doesn't grab headlines like the competition.

Well, Yahoo has now re-released one of its most widely known properties, Yahoo Messenger.

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WhatsApp 2.12.367 Goes Live In The Play Store With Starred Messages, Rich Link Previews, And Direct Share On Marshmallow

WhatsApp has been getting frequent beta updates that brought a lot of goodies to the app, and it's finally time for the Play Store version of the app to receive these. Version 2.12.367 has just gone live on the official Play Store channel and it brings with it the different new features that we've recently discussed: rich link previews, starred messages, and direct share on Marshmallow.

When you try to share any URL to WhatsApp, like YouTube links, tweets, webpages, and more, WhatsApp will parse the address quickly and give you a nice thumbnail image and title to send along with your link. That way, you can easily skim through the links that have been shared and the recipient gets to know what that page you just sent them is all about before opening it.

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Google Messenger v1.5 Adds Support For Marshmallow's Direct Share Feature For Quick Access To Recently Used Contacts [APK Download]

Just because there's a big announcement tomorrow, it doesn't mean the app updates have to take a break. Version 1.5 of Google's Messenger app popped up today, bringing with it a cool treat for users on the Android M Developer Preview 3. This update brings an implementation of the new Direct Share API in Android 6.0, allowing Messenger to add multiple contacts right to the share menu and saving us all a few taps when we want to send a link to our favorite friends.

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Left: share menu before without targets. Center: new conversation pop-up. Right: Share menu with group and single targets.

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Report: Facebook Is Working On A Personal Assistant Called 'Moneypenny' To Compete With Google Now, Possibly Use Humans To Perform For-Fee Tasks

According to an anonymously-sourced report from The Information, Facebook is working on their own entry into the virtual assistant market. Unlike Google Now, Siri, and Cortana, however, early indications are that Moneypenny—the current name used internally to refer to Facebook's offering—could be more service-oriented than the machine-driven, contextually-aware competition.

It is expected to be integrated with Messenger, but it would likely be a waste if it were not a part of Facebook's web and mobile interface as well.

At this point, details are very sparse. The Information speculates that Moneypenny may resemble startups like Magic and GoButler, which use humans to fulfill user requests for a fee.

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You Can Now Sign Up For Facebook Messenger Without A Facebook Account

Facebook would really appreciate it if you would help them take over the world. You know, if you're not too busy or anything. To that end, they've decided to make Facebook Messenger (recently graduated from a simple social network feature to a quasi-platform) truly stand on its own. So now you can use Facebook Messenger even if you're not one of the billion or so people with a Facebook account - or even if you are, and you don't want to associate your account with your messages.

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Facebook made the announcement in its official Newsroom blog, encouraging new users to simply use their phone numbers to create a Messenger profile.

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