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Instagram is rolling out app shortcuts, only a full year after we first spotted them

Instagram is rolling out app shortcuts, only a full year after we first spotted them

Android has supported app shortcuts since 2016, but some popular apps still haven't implemented the feature yet. We found evidence that Instagram was about to change that in October 2019, though it took the company until now to finally roll out shortcuts widely. Most people should now be able to tap and hold the Instagram icon on their home screen to quickly access the camera, create a new post, view their activity, and open direct messages. Additionally, Instagram has quietly reworked the Stories archive, which is now organized in three sections.

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13

Voice and video calls are coming to the WhatsApp web client

Voice and video calls are coming to the WhatsApp web client

We're all on our desktops for video conferences hours on end, but when it comes to hitting up all the people you need to without having to grab the phone you threw into a corner to avoid distraction, well, it's still a dilemma — especially if you use WhatsApp, where voice and video calls are still mobile-only features. But there are signs of a remedy for that need coming soon.

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12

OnePlus ditches all its pre-installed Facebook crap with the 8T

OnePlus ditches all its pre-installed Facebook crap with the 8T

When we first pointed out that OnePlus was sneaking in unwanted Facebook apps and services (read: bloat) to its then-latest flagship 8 series and the Nord, the company indicated that it didn’t plan to abandon that partnership anytime soon. But it now looks like the public naming and shaming did actually work and forced OnePlus into doing away with preloaded Facebook crap, starting with the latest 8T.

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13

Facebook Messenger attempts to keep things fresh with new logo and smattering of features

Facebook Messenger attempts to keep things fresh with new logo and smattering of features

Facebook has been working on unifying Instagram's messaging system with its own Facebook Messenger app since earlier this summer, and now the company is announcing a refreshed look for Messenger complete with new chat themes, custom reactions, and a more colorful logo.

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163

Google says Americans don’t want it broken up in reaction to proposed new anti-trust rules

Google says Americans don’t want it broken up in reaction to proposed new anti-trust rules

Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other tech giants are increasingly coming under antitrust scrutiny, with high-profile sentences in the EU, cries for alternative app distribution platforms in India, and today's Google vs. Oracle Supreme Court hearing in the U.S. In the latest turn of events, the House Judiciary Committee has released a report on its investigation of competition in digital markets. Following the public hearing in July, it concludes that big companies are using their dominance to stifle the competition and proposes changes to antitrust laws. Naturally, Google isn't happy about these ideas.

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12

It's official: Instagram and Messenger users can now chat with each other

It's official: Instagram and Messenger users can now chat with each other

Facebook promised that it would make messaging easier across all of its apps (Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp) last year, and we've already seen evidence that the company was working on integrating Facebook Messenger with Instagram. Today, the company has made that move official, introducing what it's calling a new Messenger experience on Instagram.

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Instagram Lite is back and barely changed after a 4-month hiatus (APK Download)

Instagram Lite is back and barely changed after a 4-month hiatus (APK Download)

Facebook has quietly revived Instagram Lite, a boiled-down, visually-identical version of the social media app. The company pushed its first update to the publicly-listed APK in 11 months after having officially shuttered the service in May, purportedly for a revamp.

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5

Facebook Messenger's Watch Together will let you — do we really need to spell this out?

Facebook Messenger's Watch Together will let you — do we really need to spell this out?

We're all trying to feel more connected online these days — the loneliness is strong. Sometimes the group chats and video calls aren't enough, and you wish you could just sit back and watch videos with your friends. Luckily for you, Facebook is continuing its trend of personal connection updates with the launch of Watch Together, a feature that will allow you to view videos simultaneously with a group.

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The Instagram app is rolling out Reels navigation button to all, starting with India

The Instagram app is rolling out Reels navigation button to all, starting with India

TikTok facing bans in two of its most prominent markets is only putting pressure on competitors to step up and fill that gap. Instagram jumped at the chance and quickly expanded its own TikTok clone, Reels, to international markets. The feature currently lives inside the Explore tab, but the photo-sharing app doesn't want things to stop there. Instagram is now trying to push users towards Reels even more by giving it a prominent position on the home screen.

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