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 last week, and now they're live in the latest beta 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.
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.
With much of the world having to isolate for an extended period, video conferencing has become ever more popular as people find new ways to stay connected with their family and friends. To keep up with demand, services like Messenger and Google Meet have needed to roll out new features to compete. Facebook added rooms to its messaging platform earlier this year, as well as screen sharing when on the web. As of today, you'll be able to share your mobile screen too.
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.