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Facebook joins Alliance for Open Media board as founding member

Like any organization set up by the Joint Development Foundation, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) is a group of companies set up to collaborate on the introduction of a technological standard. In the case of AOMedia, its purpose is specifically to accelerate the development and adoption of a new video compression codec called AV1.

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[Update: Google says it's fixed] Adaptive icon bug causes system crashes on Oreo devices, Google is on the case

If there's one thing sure to ruin your day, it's a crashing smartphone. Even worse if the bug proves so bad that your phone eventually insists you do a factory reset, losing data in the process. This is exactly the situation that has befallen a number of Nexus and Pixel owners in recent days, and it's all to do with an adaptive icon bug that was discovered by the developer of third-party Facebook wrapper called Swipe.

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Facebook Messenger payments are now available in the UK and France

Facebook Messenger users in the United States have been able to send money to each other from within the app for quite some time, and that same functionality is now finally making its way to other territories. If you're lucky enough to live in the UK or France, the Send Money feature should be available to you soon, rolling out over the next few weeks.

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Instagram Stories now supports importing media more than 24 hours old

Instagram has always allowed you to add previously-taken pictures and videos to your Story, but the app imposed one limitation - the media had to be less than 24 hours old. I honestly never noticed that, but it seems silly. Instagram now seems to think so too, and has removed that limit from the mobile apps.

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WhatsApp now rolling out live location sharing

Live location sharing is pretty popular. Google Maps added it back in March, followed by Facebook Messenger the same month and Snapchat in June. Given that Messenger has had it for a few months, it makes sense that the feature would eventually make its way to Facebook-owned WhatsApp.

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Oculus Go is a Gear VR with no phone required, coming in 2018 for $199

Facebook-owned Oculus is one of the two giants in VR right now, alongside HTC with its Vive headset. While Oculus is still working on the much-anticipated cordless PC headset, it announced another product today - the standalone Oculus Go.

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WhatsApp is now blocked in China

China has a long history of blocking or limiting access to websites, especially social networks and Western-owned sites. Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many Google services are currently blocked in mainland China. WhatsApp has been partially-blocked in the past (for a while, video chats and some other functionality wasn't working), but now the entire service seems to be non-functional.

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IFTTT adds applets for Facebook Messenger

IFTTT is a powerful automation tool that can link together many of the popular services we all use every day. The possibilities are almost endless with a bit of imagination. The platform has had a bunch of Facebook applets for some time, but the same couldn't be said for Facebook Messenger, until now.

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Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

The devs in Menlo Park have been busy recently rolling out significant changes to the look of the Facebook app for Android, more about which you can read here. We've now received tips about a further change that's currently being tested which replaces the linear, swipe-left hamburger menu with a pull-down grid of options. The new layout even has notification dots, just like Android Oreo.

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Verified WhatsApp business accounts are now official

To US readers, WhatsApp may not seem like much of a big deal. Things are different elsewhere, however, and with more than 1 billion daily active users it's easy to understand why Facebook paid so much money to acquire the messaging service. After a number of rumors and clues, business accounts similar to what you can already find in the Facebook Messenger app are now coming to WhatsApp.

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