We're all familiar with Facebook and its main messaging service, Messenger. It started life as the messaging component of the Facebook social network, and while it still is, it's now its standalone service as well, can be used without a Facebook account, and has been picking up plenty of features. Messenger may not everyone's cup of tea — it's certainly not mine — but it's still a massive app with a user base in the billions. This month, it's celebrating its 10th anniversary, and Facebook is taking the opportunity to introduce some new features.
With the popularity of Android, plenty of applications have managed to cross over the one billion installs threshold on the Play Store. It's a lot more selective in the five billion-plus club, which only two non-Google apps have ever succeeded in joining. You can finally bump that count up to three, as Facebook Messenger achieved a new milestone for installs just this week.
If you were having difficulty sending a message on Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger earlier today, or if you ran into problems signing into Instagram, you weren't alone: All three Facebook services suffered a widespread outage, with tens of thousands of reports across seemingly all markets. Other services like Oculus may also have been affected. However, things seem to be normalizing now as of around 2:30PM ET.
Many Android fans believe in a sort of holy grail: That iMessage can somehow be brought to Android. Almost everything else when moving from iOS to Android has a workaround, an app, or some way to accommodate it, though iMessage remains an Apple-controlled platform exclusive with a dominating presence in the US market. But a new app formally launching today called Beeper aims to change that, delivering not just iMessage for Android, but a single unified messaging app for all your other services, too, like Telegram, Slack, Signal, Twitter DMs, Discord, Hangouts, and even IRC.
As noted by several users on social media and verified by our own Manuel Vonau in Germany, Facebook is temporarily disabling some features for Messenger and Instagram users who are based in the European region. The development has been revealed via in-app alerts which attribute "new rules for messaging services" as the cause for the change.
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.
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.