Facebook Messenger Introduces Dropbox and Video Chat Heads

Facebook Messenger is a system built to help communicate through the popular social network, but the latest features look to bring it closer to email with Facebook Messenger introducing dropbox features and even adding a chat head imagine to your video calls.

The dropbox features allow you to add in dropbox files just like you would add an emoji, the end result being the ability to go through files and directories on your dropbox system and send them just like you would any other file. Any photos or videos sent linked through the messenger will appear as if  you had sent them normally while other files will either be sent to download via the Dropbox app or as a hyperlink to download the file through the web.

Ever had a video call on Facebook messenger? Your entire screen filled with someone’s face, stopping you from contacting or responding to other messages. The new chat head feature will display your callers video in a little circle that you can place and drag around your screen, letting you get on with your browsing while you chat away. The feature could even support video chat amongst different applications and with both features set for release within the next few days, just watch out for the latest download.

Why You Haven’t Heard about the Thing You Can’t Say on Facebook

Have you ever heard about the social media website Tsu.co? I’m going to guess that most of you haven’t, and that’s mostly because we now know that;

  • The first rule of Facebook is you don’t talk about Tsu
  • The second rule of Facebook is you don’t talk about Tsu
  • The third rule of Facebook is you don’t talk about Tsu

Actually, it’s not just Facebook directly, but also Instagram and Messenger are actively blocking any instance of the web address, so much so, that Facebook has backdated the ban, deleting more than 1 million Facebook posts, including images, videos and comments that ever mentioned Tsu.co.

So what the hell is going on? I hear you ask.

“We’re persona non grata,” said Sebastian Sobczak, who founded Tsu. “You can type in all sorts of seedy websites, and you can get to them. But not us. We don’t exist.”

Tsu, a new social network which claims to share advertising revenue with its users. The site keeps 10%, you keep 45% and you friends which you invited split the rest. If that sounds a little bit like a pyramid scheme, it’s because it’s pretty obvious it is. Of course, people love money, so there’s certainly an incentive to use the service over the current business models at Facebook, but to me, it sounds a little too good to be true and not worth the hassle.

“Tsu said it had been receiving a decent amount of traffic from Facebook, averaging more than 2,534 visits a day. When that dropped to zero, Tsu appealed to Facebook, arguing that it didn’t violate Facebook’s terms of service, because it did not pay users to push content to Facebook.” said CNN.

“We do not allow developers to incentivize content sharing on our platform because it encourages spammy sharing,” said Melanie Ensign, a Facebook spokesperson.

If Facebook didn’t ban this, there’s a chance that social media channels could quickly become flooded with links to Tsu, as people try to earn extra revenue, suddenly sharing your photos becomes financially motivated, rather than just socialising. Facebook has now marked the links as spam as of September 25th.

Is Facebook trying to stop a competitor stealing their users, or is this a smart move to block what could be seen as a scam in the long run? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, you sure as hell can’t type Tsu.co into Facebook to talk about it.

Facebook-Less Messenger Is a Thing

First there was MySpace and Bebo, then came along Facebook. Now everything from your computer to your phone can have Facebook on it, be it the social website or just the messaging aspect of the social site. Now it would seem that users are able to use the messaging platform, without having a Facebook account.

Starting next week users in the US, Canada, Venezuela and Peru will be given the option to sign up to Facebook messenger by just providing their full name and phone number. While it can still be used with a Facebook account, this allows users who don’t want to sign up and create an account have access to and use their messaging services.

Signing up to Facebook is still encouraged so users can take “advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web and tablets”. This would appear that while your name and number lets you log in and use the messaging app on your phone, you still won’t be able to access or use chat on PC based versions of Facebook, maybe even to the point where the conversations aren’t shared amongst the devices associated with that number.

Previously announced plans outlined messenger being enabled to allow businesses to have a platform on the messenger app, to not only communicate but also to receive information such as order confirmations and status updates.

With the app being expanded to businesses and non-Facebook users, it’s clear that they want to include as many people and companies in communicating through their products. Can you see yourself asking for details from your online retailers through Facebook?

Thank you Facebook for providing us with this information.

Facebook Messenger Gets its First Game

Facebook seems to be thinking of allowing games on its Messenger platform in the near future. The first one spotted on the platform is said to be Doodle Draw Game and although it’s nothing fancy, it still is the first one to pave the way for developers eyeing the platform’s potential for game development.

Doodle Draw is not the first third-party app that can be found on Facebook’s Messenger platform. The company allowed other developers to add apps that allow users to share GIFs and sound effects in the past, but the game addition really opened the market for the platform.

This is not necessarily good news for everyone and Facebook should tread carefully here too. We all are familiar with how game developers tend to spread the word and promote their games with inviting spams and automatic wall posts for achievements or other in-game activities. I don’t think users will enjoy the same marketing strategy on their Messenger too.

Still, this marks the beginning of a whole new market to both Facebook and other game developers out there. Although Facebook is not currently taking anything out of what developers earn from their apps on Facebook Messenger, they may be able to start making a small fortune in the future out of it. Let’s just hope people will still be using their platform and not run away from all the pesky marketing ads.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information

Facebook Wants to Give You More Information on Contacts with New Caller ID Feature

Social media giant, Facebook, has been busy as of late, providing users with more and more features to help them in their daily activities, as well as make them stay and enjoy their social media platform for longer.

We’ve seen that one of their biggest achievements as of late was to make the Messenger app web-based, so they provided users with access to the Messenger platform on both desktop and mobile, provided you don’t already have the app installed.

One of their latest achievements was to bring news articles directly in your feed, so you will have access to your friend’s activities as well as know what’s going on in the world too. I know it’s a bit of multitasking to do and you might even end up mixing your friend’s selfie with a volcano eruption, then you ask yourself what he was doing there in the first place, before realising you were reading two things at once. But hey, we all get used to it in the end.

Facebook’s latest addition is the CallerID feature, which brings some more details about contacts and who wants to connect with you. This is done by having the app display an even bigger photo of the contact, more details about how related you are with him or her and “much more”, as Vice President of Messaging Products, David Marcus, stated. The feature is said to already be available for Android and iOS users in the US, UK, France and India. So will this be of more help than just asking your friends about who is trying to connect with you? We will see.

Thank you Sci-Tech for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of FrAndroid

Facebook Messenger Games on their Way?

Facebook’s attempt to make their social network and instant messenger separate entities has had mixed opinions. This divergence looks like it is about to be bolstered with the addition of games to the Messenger platform.

The Messenger has seen improvements such as emojis, gifs and sound-clips since the launch of the platform 2 months ago. Even though the introduction of games doesn’t have a definitive date, the additions could increase revenue quite significantly and draw more people to the platform. However, the more people that get drawn to playing games on the Messenger platform could take away from the Facebook games that are already popular and we could see a bizarre phenomenon of Messenger becoming the new Facebook.

Facebook’s executive Ilya Sukhar, the one in charge of Facebook Messenger, has confirmed that they are in talks with games developers for the platform, but has said nothing more about the matter.

There is also no word on whether or not the games will be downloadable by the Messenger app or just use it as communication between players.

Facebook opened up their Messenger service to third-parties back in march, and with developers slow to take advantage of this, the introduction of games may not gain traction, or even materialise in the first place.

Would you play games through Facebook Messenger? Or would more Saga’s just be too much to handle. Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you theinformation.com for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Facebook Wants to Bring Free Internet to Europe

Free internet is something that everyone wants nowadays, and for good reason too. Where do you go when you want to read the latest news, speak to friends or check your email account? This is why Facebook plans to bring free internet to Europe soon.

Zuckerberg was present in a Q&A recently and divulged its plans to connect countries with limited access to the Internet. He stated that there are a lot of people who are still not connected to the internet today and he wants to change all that.

“Yes, we want to bring Internet.org [everywhere] where there are people who need to be connected. We’re starting off by prioritizing the countries with the most unconnected people and by working with network operators and governments who are most excited about working with Internet.org to get everyone online in their countries.”

The company also launched a feature that provides basic mobile internet in countries such as Kenya, India, Tanzania and Columbia. Though it won’t bring Google Fiber to your doorstep, it still provides some way to stay connected with the changing times.

Zuckerberg seems to have disclosed some other information regarding his company’s future plans with the latest Facebook Messenger payment feature and that Oculus is going to go well beyond the boundaries of gaming.

“Our mission [is] to give people the power to experience anything,” he wrote. “Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do.”

Facebook has quite a lot planned for the future, from connecting everyone and bringing them together with free internet and its social media platform, to digging into future technologies such as Oculus and attempting to exploit it to its full potential. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thank you Tech Radar for providing us with this information

Facebook Messenger is Now Available on Web Browsers

It looks like Facebook has brought its Messenger counterpart to web browsers. Though users can chat with their Facebook friends inside Facebook.com as they did up until now, the Messenger.com looks to work and look like a mobile version of Facebook’s Messenger, but for the Web.

A Facebook representative told Re/Code that the Messenger for Web is dedicated towards messaging, having it not display all other News Feed distractions that you would have in the Facebook.com page. The company also does not have plans on removing the messaging feature from Facebook.com, at least for now.

The chat feature was previously removed from the mobile Facebook app and wired to work alongside it with the help of Messenger app in order to add more features, according to Facebook. Since then, the Peer-to-Peer payments feature and a new Developer Platform have cropped up for the messaging app.

It turns out that Messanger.com will include support for all the features available in the mobile version, as well as multiple languages. However, the Web variant of the Messenger currently has support for the English language, with more to come in the near future.

Thank you Re/Code for providing us with this information

Facebook Messenger Platform Revealed at F8

Facebook Messenger is great, but there’s certainly a lot of room for improvement. The new platform integrates many partner apps that will let you curate and share content dynamically with your friends or group. Create movie clips, gifs, images, music, memes, share sports clips, news stories and a whole lot more from built-in and add-on application packages. This means you no longer need to go out of chat, load another app, export the content, upload it and share it.

While not the most ground breaking thing ever, it’ll be one that has a big impact on how we communicate and it’s a huge improvement from sharing our thoughts and feelings; a far cry from the humble emoticon such as 🙂

Facebook Working on Dialer App for Phones

With Facebook’s ever-growing brand, any new ways to integrate themselves is always the top priority for them. With the recent addition of sending money through the Messenger app, which was their attempt at replacing basic texting, we have a glimpse of their next projec; a dialer app for phones.

As was first shared with Android Policewe see that they simply plan on calling the app “Phone”. Right now, the app is in testing phase, considering that those who try to install it get an error message. As the photo shows, it seems one nice feature of the app will be a better caller ID setup, so we can now block annoying calls, not just ignore them. With a few apps similar to this already available, the question now is, how well will this app do thanks to its attachment to Facebook.

Source: BGR

MSN Messenger Finally Takes Its Last Breath

For most of the world the MSN messenger, or Windows Live Messenger, has been history for a while now after being shut down in April 2013 in favour of Skype, or even longer if you’re like me. It however lived on strong on the Chinese mainland, that is up until now.

Chinese MSN users are starting to get email notifications that the service will shut down at the end of October. The current users will be moved over to Skype instead and each user will get a $2 coupon as compensation for the move to the new service.

This isn’t the exact same Skype version we use though, as it’s modified to fit with Chinese laws and censorship requirements. MSN lived longer in China, but got it’s final nail into the coffin from the success of the QQ messaging service that now has over 200 million users. Skype in comparison has less then 100 million in the Chinese market.

Thank you gigaom for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Microsoft.

Facebook Messenger Sparks Anger in Low-End Smartphone Users

Facebook’s aim is to be a social network, dedicated to maintaining friendships, creating new ones, share experiences and most importantly, chatting with friends. However, the social networks appears to do exactly the opposite and spark a large number of enemies who hate its current strategy.

The social network giant appears to have made another attempt at ‘forcing’ users to install its Facebook Messenger, the standalone app that you now need to chat with your friends. Previously, the Facebook mobile app incorporated all its features, including the chat feature.

The new app however rips the chat feature and users are required to have both the Facebook and Facebook Messenger app installed in order to enjoy the full experience on their mobile devices.

By separating the two, Facebook apparently made quite a lot of its users frustrated of having to depend on two apps instead of just one. Older smartphone users are especially infuriated by the social network’s decision due to the fact that they simply do not have the processing power of using them both simultaneously. A user commenting on this strategy shares her (paranoid) way around it all:

“If you root your phone so that Facebook is not in the bloatware, then don’t download either one. I use it straight from the website browser and delete my cache, history, data when I log out. The heavy battery use of the apps following me around like big brother and the slowdown of my phone was enough to justify this option.” she said.

Another user seems to skip using the Facebook app altogether, refusing to install it due to its ‘intrusive’ permissions required just to get the app on the smartphone:

“I guess I’ll be taking numbers and sending more text messages. I’m not downloading Messenger and I sure as hell refuse to upgrade Facebook. Haven’t upgraded the app since October. The permissions required are beyond intrusive and are absolutely unnecessary.”

Others are just moving to other means of communications and simpler apps that provide these features, stating that developers are just releasing apps based on their usage preference and not the actual consumer:

“Sometimes it seems that the people creating these apps assume that everyone uses them in the way they do; that everyone has the latest devices with lots of storage space. With FourSquare/Swarm I honestly can’t see the point for me; I don’t give a toss where people are right now, because I’m not a 20-something valley geek who hangs out at just a few places with all my mates, which seems to be the point of the new app.”

All users’ frustrations seem to make sense, since the Facebook app itself uses around 150 MB storage space. Installing another one for the same service is simply too much for some users owning lower-end smartphones and even the features do not justify the space it requires in order to get the full Facebook experience on your smartphone.

Thank you TechRadar for providing us with this information

Windows Phone Store Gets BBM Beta After Reaching 10,000 User Sign-Ups in 24 Hours

BlackBerry’s popular messaging app, BBM, is stated to have reached the 10,000 sign-up number for Microsoft’s Windows Phone Beta in about 24 hours. This means that Windows Phone users running on Windows Phone 8 or above operating systems are now able to download the app from the Windows Phone Store.

The company has stated that it will release the app in beta form at first, but this does not mean it will lack features present on other platforms, such as the iOS or Android. It is said that BBM Chat, BBM Groups, Find Friends, BBM Feeds and even Pin to Start are available in the Windows Phone app.

Due to its lack of funds, BlackBerry has extended its service to other platform in order to monetize its products. We have previously seen Microsoft do the same with its mobile version of Microsoft Office, having it released for both iOS and Android ahead of its own Windows Phone operating system.

Also, BlackBerry has stated that BBM users decide on which platform they would like to see the service. Since most demand was previously for iOS and Android, Windows Phone fell short and did not receive the app. However, its addition to the Windows Phone Store will also benefit both users and the company, having users talk on their preferred messaging app and BlackBerry making a lot of money out of it.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Facebook Will Begin to Force Users to Install Messenger App

Once again we get another reason to hate Facebook more than we do already, in the next few days Facebook will be forcing users to download the messenger application to their mobile device to continue talking with friends and family. This is for the world, as far as I know, apart form the EU who had to do it back in April.

Users will get several hints to download the app before hand, allowing them to continue using the normal chat for a little bit longer but eventually the normal messages tab button will be replaced with a messenger app shortcut, not cool Facebook, not cool.

Facebook claim that using messenger is about 20% faster than using the standard chat feature in the normal app running on both IOS and Android devices. Apparently the feedback EU switch over was positive so Facebook have decided it’s time everyone used the app. I for one will not be using it, probably hidden malware or something…

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

ECHO Urgent Messenger Aims to Notify Your Friends When You Are In Distress

A new personal SOS device is apparently in the works over at Indiegogo website, having it be able to let people know where you are and even speak to them after you press the ‘panic button’. The device by the name of ECHO Urgent Messenger, which basically has the same principle as a normal panic button, is said to fit on your keychain and help you in calling for help whenever you need it. The company is aiming to raise at least $5,000 in order to start production for the aforementioned gadget.

What makes the device stand out of the crowd is its ability to add friends to the contacts it sends a distress signal upon triggered. Aside from the staff, who will receive your distress signal and be able to talk to you (if you can) or at least listen to what is going on, the device is said to let users add individual phone, email and even Facebook contacts, who will be notified about your distress as soon as you press the button.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L97MDtdp0Nk[/youtube]

The message sent when triggered is said to contain your location within five feet, based on GPS, GLONASS and cell tower triangulation. However, with all the privacy concerns out there, this might sound as a way people could track your every movement. Nonetheless, the company has stated that all location tracking features will only activate once the user presses the button and will remain deactivated otherwise.

In terms of power, the ECHO gadget is said to run on a AAA battery, having the company stating that it would last as long as 7 years in standby or 5 hours of talk time in the case where it has been triggered. People interested in acquiring one can pledge at least $144 and wait for it to be delivered in December, though the target crowdfunding plays an important role to its actual release on the market.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of Indiegogo

Facebook Will Buy WhatsApp For $16 Billion In Cash and Shares

Recent news point to Facebook engaging into an agreement to purchase the popular mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, for $16 billion in cash and stocks. The Verge states that a SEC document filed recently confirms the purchase agreement.

The same plan of action was filed with the pruchase of Instagram as well, that being the ability of WhatsApp operating as an independent messaging application and not integrated into Facebook’s Messenger, stating that the purchase will accelerate Facebook’s aim to bring socializing and connectivity all around the world.

“WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.” said Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. “WhatsApp will complement our existing chat and messaging services to provide new tools for our community.” he added.

Statistics report showing around 450 million people accessing the WhatsApp application each month, having 70 percent of the total amount of users active each day. The changes will also bring WhatsApp’s CEO Jan Koum to Facebook’s board of directors. Koum also assured users that the deal will not affect the app’s usability by adding advertising principles, as “there would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product”.

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information

BBM Messenger Gets Find Friends Feature, Helps Find Nearby Friends To Add

BlackBerry is improving its popular BBM for iOS and Android, and we all know it since the company just launched an update for both platform recently. A new feature has been introduced as well, coming by the name of Find Friends.

That the feature does is it searches for nearby friends that use the BBM client as well, and if it finds them, you can then choose to send them your PIN through an invitation. It is not something that revolutionary, since other applications such as WhatsApp or Viber have something similar, but it will be a nice addition for those of you that want to know exactly who is using the app and not flood all your friends who don’t use the app.

But of course, for those who still want to nag their friends into joining BBM Messenger, an email and SMS invitation feature will also be present which will give a link to the respective iOS, Android or BlackBerry store to download the app.

After the BBM Messager receives the update, the Find Friends feature will appear the first time you launch the application, and afterwards you can find the feature in the “Invites” tab menu, which can be tapped and accessed from the bottom menu bar.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information

Facebook Messenger For Android Gets A Huge Overhaul

When it comes to communicating with our friends and colleagues, a number of us chose to do so through social media messaging as opposed to sending an SMS from our phone. One such service is Facebook messenger and for those of us that use it on our Android smart phones, messenger now looks a whole lot different.

The new layout of messenger wipes the slate clean over previous versions of the app and after a period of beta testing where the app was only available to a limited number of users, Facebook has rolled out the new design to everyone.

Along with a new icon design, the app now offers a simple white and blue design which is less cluttered in its appearance, even though there are a number of additional features crammed into the latest update. The most significant of these is the added ability to now message anyone using just their mobile number. Whilst this may feel as though Facebook are diverting us from using our phones own SMS service, people with a limited number of messages per month will be pleased to see the new options.

Roll-out of the new app is already in full swing and unless your app has already updated automatically, you can download the latest version from Google Play.

Source: Tweaktown

BBM for Android and iPhone Arrives On The Store

BlackBerry’s BBM messenger service finally arrives on Apple’s AppStore and Android’s Google Play, but nothing is as simple as it seems. BBM fans who signed up on the official site will be able to use the application immediately, but unfortunately those who haven’t can download the app to “hold your spot in line,” and will get an e-mail when they can start using the service.

BlackBerry said 6 million people signed up for information on BBM.com. “If you didn’t sign up in advance, don’t worry — we are focused on moving millions of customers through the line as fast as possible,” the blog said.

BBM was supposed to launch last month, but was pulled after a leaked copy was distributed and performed terribly in the wild. BlackBerry said the unintended launch caused issues that the company needed to resolve.

The fervent demand for the app is a counterpoint to the common thinking that BlackBerry isn’t long for this world. While sales of its newer BlackBerry 10 devices are in retreat and the company has whittled its focus down to the big businesses and governments, BBM persists as a popular messaging platform.

BBM continues to be a popular platform around the world, particularly in emerging markets where cheap, older BlackBerrys are still in demand.

Still, the delayed service for many casual users interested in BBM may turn off some users who had abandoned BlackBerry to go to Apple or Android, but were interested in reconnecting with BBM friends.

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of BlackBerry.

 

Data Prices Could See Reduction For Facebook Messenger App

Facebook have announced this week that it has been working with multiple mobile carriers around the globe in a deal that could see Facebook Messenger data costs greatly reduced, with users in some countries even seeing data costs disappear completely from their bills.

The deal is with 18 carriers in 14 different countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America, all of which are a nice mixture of growing and struggling markets for Facebook unlike the US which it already dominates in. While many of us may have mobile contracts that cause little concern for our overall data rates, this isn’t true in many other parts of the world where mobile data can be (and often is) a lot more expensive. This is also the case when travelling across countries, even with the reduced rates that we’ve seen throughout Europe.

The discounted or free data access (carrier and country dependent) for iOS and Android Facebook Messenger will be setup to tempt more users to the Facebook service, especially in countries where Facebook isn’t the leading platform, as global #1 doesn’t always translate to local #1.

This should go well with the integration of new features to Facebook’s messenger app that allows people to use the service, even in they are not signed up to the Facebook site and this will go a long way to pushing Facebook deeper into the world of mobile communications on a global level.

The new data plans are initially only setup to last around three months, but if they prove successful for both Facebook and the mobile networks you can expect the deal to last a good while longer.

Could this be the start of mobile communication becoming affordable for the whole population or is it just a scheme to push Facebook even more into our lives? The future will be the only answer and personally we welcome this at eTeknix as we are all about keeping in contact and this is a prime example of how it can be done.