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.
Signal has always been heralded as the security-aware alternative to WhatsApp and Co. due to its open-source nature, but the nonprofit behind the chat app hasn't always stuck to its original open-source promises. While it regularly publishes the code of its client apps, Signal failed to update the Github repository for its server for almost a year, as reported by German publication Golem — though earlier today, the company pushed out an update with a more recent release.
With WhatsApp's recent Facebook-induced privacy woes, Signal and Telegram are enjoying their time in the spotlight. Signal's privacy focus has specifically appealed to a lot of users who decided to switch away from WhatsApp, with the app seeing unprecedented growth and topping global app charts worldwide. But many of those newly-acquired users have quickly noticed Signal's limited feature set, forcing the app's devs to rush and try to plug some holes to keep everyone hooked. A few new features were promised two weeks ago, they showed up in beta last week and are now live in the latest stable version of the app.
Everyone wants to disappear sometimes — or at the very least, make some embarrassing comment of theirs disappear. Facebook is making that a bit easier by borrowing a feature from Snapchat that makes it possible to send messages that don't stick around. The new "vanish mode" for Messenger and Instagram promises to make messaging a more "spontaneous" experience, and it's starting to roll out now.
Telegram and Signal have had disappearing messages for a long time, and even Facebook's own Messenger lets you set delete timers on messages in secrets chats. Now WhatsApp has announced that it's joining its competitors — ephemeral messages are rolling out to the stable version of WhatsApp today.
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.