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.
Several messaging platforms allow you to forward a text to multiple groups at once, which can come in handy for many situations, but has also led to fake news spreading like wildfire. That's why Facebook-owned WhatsApp started limiting message forwarding to five groups earlier this year, and now the company is doing the same for its own Messenger service.
Messenger Rooms is Facebook's approach to online video-conferencing, though it's definitely targeted towards casual hangouts much more than business meetings. The service makes it easy to create video meetups with people who aren't necessarily in your friend list while keeping the group's creator in control. After coming to WhatsApp and Facebook's Portal screens, the company has announced that it will enhance the group calling feature in its Messenger apps with improvements to Room creation and discoverability. The developers are also working on custom backgrounds.
Early last year, Facebook promised that it would create a unified backend for all of its messaging platforms. Messenger, Instagram direct messages, and WhatsApp are all supposed to be interoperable, so you wouldn't have to worry about which Facebook app to use with which of your contacts. It looks like the company is getting ready to make these cross-platform chats a reality, as it has started distributing a popup on Instagram that advertises a Messenger integration.
Early last year, we got word that Facebook was considering cross-platform chats between WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, running on a unified, encrypted backend. After the first small steps towards compatibility in the form of Messenger Rooms in WhatsApp, we now see this cross-app integration taking shape. According to WABetaInfo, a few hints have appeared in Facebook Messenger that reveal how the company is working on a way to contact WhatsApp users through the app.
Regardless of what side of any particular issue you're on, political ads kind of suck — and on top of that, it's not even clear how effective they are. The brass at Facebook is acknowledging that fact, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a piece published recently in USA Today that users will soon be able to opt out of seeing them entirely.