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[Hands-on] Facebook Messenger Kids comes to Amazon's Fire tablets

Facebook has released its new Messenger Kids app to the Amazon App Store, making the service available to owners of its Fire line of tablets. So I grabbed one of the Fire 7 tablets we have for our kids and installed the app to see what it was all about, and just how well it works on Amazon's lowest-end hardware.

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Facebook is changing the news feed to bring you closer to the people you actually know in real life

Particularly for those who were around from the start, usage of Facebook might have waned in recent years. Considering it was originally intended to bring you closer to your friends and family, things are a bit different nowadays. Scroll through your news feed today and you'll likely find a mixture of memes, recipe videos, and adverts (in my case, anyway, but that will depend on what you like/follow), with just a smattering of posts from people you know IRL. The company's mission for 2018: put friends and family at the forefront once again.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined this renewed focus in a post on the site yesterday, where he said that feedback from users was at the heart of upcoming changes to the ranking system.

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Google's Head of Product for Allo and Duo moves to Facebook

Amit Fulay served as a Product Manager at Google since 2010, most recently as Head of Product for Real-Time Communications. In other words, he was the head of Allo, Duo, WebRTC, and other projects within the company. Fulay announced on Twitter today that he has left Google, and now works at Facebook.

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Facebook's Messenger Lite app hits the 100 million installs milestone

Many who've used Facebook's main or messaging apps over the years will be acutely aware of how resource and data-hungry they can be. Messenger Lite was a welcome addition when it was released on the Play Store back in October 2016, as it promised to solve both of those issues. The only problem at the time was that it was only launched in emerging markets.

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Facebook announces Snooze feature to give you a break from certain people

Facebook may have saved many a friendship when it first introduced the "unfollow" feature, wherein a user can tune someone out completely without the drastic step of unfriending them. But there may be times when you just need a break from someone in your network, but you don't necessarily want to ignore them forever. Facebook hopes to address this need with its newly announced feature, Snooze, coming within the next few days.

Snooze will appear as an option from the top-right drop-down menu of someone's post, and when activated, the user will temporarily unfollow the person for 30 days. Over that time, the user will see neither hide nor hair of the snoozed account.

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Facebook Messenger now lets you share photos at 4K resolution

Until now, the default resolution for images sent and received on Facebook Messenger was 2K. That's quite small in terms of megapixels, and anything higher you tried to send someone would be compressed by Messenger before sending. Facebook has just bumped the default image size up to 4K (up to just over 16MP) so you can now send photos of much higher quality to friends and family.

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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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