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Weekend poll: Do you use Facebook on your phone?

Facebook's been in the news quite a bit recently, almost entirely with a negative connotation. Just earlier today we reported on the recent revelation that it had been (Update: with user permission) harvesting call and messaging metadata from users for years by exploiting Android's old permissions model. Set within the framework of the broader Cambridge Analytica outrage, quite a lot of people are upset at how their data and privacy has been handled by the house of Zuckerberg. Even Elon Musk is supporting #deletefacebook, having axed Tesla's page. That means the 4th largest (and 1st nerdiest) automaker by value in the world no longer has a Facebook presence.

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Video chat in Facebook Messenger Lite is live [APK Download]

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that video chat would soon be added to Messenger Lite. Video chat's been a staple of the standard version of Messenger for a long time, but given that Messenger Lite is supposed to be lighter and have less clutter, its addition is also a bit confusing. With the app's latest update, though, it's here whether you like it or not.

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Express Wi-Fi by Facebook connects you to local hotspots in developing countries [APK Download]

Facebook's Internet.org initiative was designed to extend better internet access to developing nations, which it does via its Free Basics service in 63 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America. The platform's latest app, Express Wi-Fi, aims to connect users to connect to public hotspots offered by the company for a fee.

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Facebook Lite expands to more countries, including the US

Facebook launched the Facebook Lite app in 2015 for use in developing countries with poor connectivity. However, people all over the world were sideloading the Lite app as an alternative to the notorious bloated regular app. You don't have to mess around with sideloads anymore, though. Facebook Lite is now available in more places like the US.

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The Facebook Watch video section could get news starting this summer

Rumors from inside Facebook suggest the social network is looking to roll out news content to its video section this summer. The previously announced Facebook Watch platform features video content created for Facebook. The news videos will apparently come from traditional publishers, as well as online-focused ones. This leak also includes some details on what that content will look like.

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Video chat is coming to Facebook Messenger Lite

Facebook announced today that video chat is coming to its Messenger Lite app. Video chat has been a staple of Facebook's full-fat Messenger app since forever, but the Lite version is traditionally lite on both data usage and functionality. The addition of video calling brings Messenger's more svelte counterpart that much closer to feature parity.

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BlackBerry alleges Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are infringing on BBM patents

BlackBerry Messenger was the iMessage of the late 2000s, especially since it was initially exclusive to the company's own hardware. BBM expanded to iOS and Android in 2013, but it has become mostly irrelevant thanks to competitors like WhatsApp and iMessage. BlackBerry is now suing Facebook and its subsidiaries (including WhatsApp and Instagram), alleging that Facebook is violating numerous BBM patents.

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Instagram might be working on voice and video calls

Instagram is trying to become the place you connect with everyone, regardless of the medium you want. You can share images and videos with your followers, post ephemeral stories or keep them in your profile, direct message people for private chats, and go live to share your current activity or whereabouts with friends. But that doesn't seem to be enough as the app might be working on voice and video calls as well.

The news was first spotted by TechCrunch who got tipped about the Instagram APK file containing multiple icons for calls and video calls. I verified it on my end by grabbing the latest Instagram alpha v36 file and digging through it to find many icons for calls in the same vein as Instagram's icon design, plus several layouts that mention calls and video calls.

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Facebook will allow select companies and organizations to post in 'Community Help' during a crisis

Facebook rolled out a special Community Help section last year to do some good during a crisis. It's intended as a way for users to offer assistance to each other including food, shelter, and so on. Now, Facebook is going to let certain businesses and organizations post in Community Help to do the same.

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Facebook's Messenger Kids app comes to the Play Store

Facebook has to tread carefully when it comes to making products and services for kids under the age of 13. However, it's not like it's hard for kids to lie about their age to gain access to all the wonderful and unspeakably terrible things on the internet. If kids are going to be sending messages over the internet, parents might want to give the child-friendly Messenger Kids a shot. It's launching on Android today with some special Valentine's Day features.

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