Tag Archive | "facebook-messenger"

Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps

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WhatsApp Experiences Second Major Outage Following Facebook Acquisition

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Panic! Despair! Switch to Facebook Messenger!…Ah, I see what you did there, Facebook. Mobile messaging application WhatsApp is this morning experiencing its second major outage since Facebook bought the company in February for $19 billion. According to TechCrunch tipsters, reports on Twitter and DownDetector.com, the service has been experiencing issues for roughly an hour, at least in some… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger Adds A Dedicated Groups Tab

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Facebook is gradually rolling out an update to its Facebook Messenger app for iOS and Android. Users will see a new dedicated “Groups” tab for group discussions. Instead of mixing one-on-one conversations with group discussions, you can pin permanent group discussions in a separate tab. You can also pin existing group discussions or start a new group from this screen. When you create a… Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers launches

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MessengerBecomeATester650Facebook Messenger for Android became the latest application to get the beta-testing treatment, as the social network announced in a post on its engineering blog that the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers program is now live.

The Facebook for Android Beta Testers program launched last July, and users were able to preview and test several features that were later added to the social network’s flagship Android app and its Home Android overlay.

Facebook Mobile Infrastructure Team Engineer Luiz Scheidegger wrote in the blog post announcing Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers:

Beginning today, the Facebook Messenger for Android beta program will give people who opt in access to the latest versions of Messenger for Android before the general release. As with the main Facebook application, our goals with this program are to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. Simply by using the app and reporting issues, beta-testers will be able to help us improve performance and the overall experience on a wide variety of Android devices at scale.

The beta program will provide us with an early warning system that will help make everyone’s experience with the app better once we push it more broadly. Also, since Messenger is all about private sharing and small groups communication, the beta program will give us another channel to understand what kinds of sharing tools resonate with people using Messenger.

Anyone can join the beta program. When you do, you will get a small batch of fixes and new features every month. We ask that you use your app as you normally would, but submit a report when you encounter a bug or other issue. Because the beta build will have features that are still in progress, the app may be less stable than you’re accustomed to. Feedback on stability, as well as any other performance issues you experience, is important to this program and deeply appreciated.

  1. Join the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers Google group.
  2. Allow beta downloads by clicking “Become a Tester” in the Google Play Store (you need to join the Google Group before becoming a tester).
  3. Download Facebook Messenger from the Play Store to update your app.
  4. Turn on automatic updates, as the beta version of Facebook Messenger for Android will be updated multiple times per week.

The Facebook for Android beta program has already helped us improve the quality and overall experience of the main Facebook app on Android. We’re excited to bring those improvements to Messenger, and to have people who use Messenger participate more in the process of building the best mobile-to-mobile messaging platform.

Android users: Will you participate in the Facebook Messenger for Android Beta Testers program?

Article courtesy of Inside Facebook

Facebook Aims To Squash Chat Bugs Early With New Android Messenger Beta Program

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Facebook For Android’s beta tier has been a success, with 1 million testers helping fix bugs before updates go out to its hundreds of millions of mainstream users. So today Facebook launched a beta program for its Messenger android app with multiple automatic updates of new features and fixes each week. With heavy competiton in messaging, Facebook is intent on making Messenger is fast and stable. Read More

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger Coming To Windows Phone Platform Within “Weeks”

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Facebook Messenger Windows Phone

Windows Phone users hankering to get their hands on Facebook’s Messenger app don’t have much longer left to wait — the instant messaging service will land on the Windows Phone store within “weeks”, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore said today.

Belfiore was speaking at Microsoft’s press & analyst event, taking place in Barcelona ahead of the Mobile World Congress tradeshow which kicks off tomorrow.

“We’ve been working with Facebook testing out their implementation for a while,” he said. ”It’s looking good and we will have it for our customers soon.”

Belfiore, the Windows Phone VP, argued that 2013 was a very good year for Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem, noting particularly growth in handset shipments in markets such as the U.K. and Italy, and also talking how the number of apps continues to grow — mentioning the arrive of big name apps like Vine and Waze — which he said has helped to improve the overall platform experience for users.

Another of the big name apps that finally arrived on Windows Phone last year was Instagram – albeit, years later than it hit iOS.

The three updates that the Windows Phone platform received last year were “mostly” focused on “growing the general scale opportunity around the world”, said Belfiore. “And with that has come a bunch of apps.”

There are now some 200,000+ apps on the Windows Phone store, according to Belfiore, with app downloads totalling 4 billion.

“There’s a number of more great apps coming soon,” he added. “Stay tuned as you hear about more compelling demanded user apps coming for Windows Phone.”

Windows Phone apps

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Messenger Fights Chat Competitors By Bringing ‘Contact Via Phone Number’ To All

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Facebook Chat Numbers

Facebook is continuing its assault on SMS and competitors like WeChat and Line today by expanding its “contact via phone number” feature to Messenger for iOS. The option launched on Android to a select set of testers at the end of October, and is being pushed to all Androiders as well as all iOS users. The update is rolling out now and also brings a cleaner layout, and faster start-up and navigation.

The intent is clear. As I detailed last month, Facebook doesn’t want you to have to switch to SMS to contact someone who you have the phone number of but aren’t friends with. It’s watched as startup messaging apps like WeChat and KakaoTalk that rely on phone numbers have risen to huge user counts. Today’s move could box them out, if it’s not too late.

WeChat is thought to have over 200M users, while its Chinese parent company Tencent’s desktop messaging service QQ is said to over 800 million active users. WhatsApp is thought to have somewhere between 250 million and 350 million users, while KakaoTalk is said to have over 90 million. Then there’s sticker-messaging app Line, and Snapchat, which sees about as many daily photo uploads and which the Wall Street Journal today said refused a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook.

In case you thought Facebook wasn’t concerned with these competitors, just look at the iOS screenshots in the App Store. Each tackles a specific foe. “Text the people you care about, for free” – SMS. “Send photos privately” – Snapchat. “Say it better with stickers” – Line. “Reach them instantly” – WeChat and WhatsApp. “Not just for Facebook friends” – SMS, again.

One reason the Asian messaging startups may be gaining ground is they’re getting users addicted to games. Several have their own internal gaming platforms that third-parties build titles for. Meanwhile, Facebook is pursuing a “social layer” strategy in mobile gaming, hoping to provide login and sharing options to native games rather than running the platform itself. That might not be forceful enough to keep users’ eyes glued while they wait for replies from friends.

Overall, this degree of fragmentation in the messaging market is dangerous for Facebook because it thrives on having all your friends in one place. Messaging generates a ton of user engagment and return visits, plus also helps companies build an accurate social graph of who you talk to most. That’s important data Facebook needs to refine its News Feed relevancy algorithm and ad targeting.

The option to contact someone via phone number within Messenger might dissuade people from using these other apps. It could be especially helpful to budget-minded folks who don’t want to rack up SMS costs. International travelers could meanwhile benefit from avoiding SMS roaming charges.

At this point, it doesn’t look like Facebook will be able to beat all these messaging competitors. At best it can hope to stunt their growth and hold onto its existing users.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Adds Like Button To Mobile Messages, A One-Touch “OK”

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Like Replies Short

“Alright”, “Yes”, and the much-hated “k” just got a visual redesign. Facebook’s iOS and Android apps have rolled out the option in messages to reply with a one-tap thumbs-up Like button sticker. It’s a highly-functional flourish that replaces the greyed-out Send button when you haven’t typed anything. And while it seems simple, I’m finding it quite satisfying.

Facebook confirms with me that the “Like Reply” button, as I’m calling it, was “part of a recent update”. However, it doesn’t appear to have been included in any of the “What’s New” release notes. That meshes with my suspicion that Facebook sometimes adds new mobile features and either doesn’t announce them, or notes them a few updates after they appear. Cheeky. The Like Replies are now available in Facebook and Messenger for iOS and Android, plus m.facebook.com, but not on desktop.

Distilled Communication

Stickers have blown up recently as people search for quick and vivid way to share emotions while mobile messaging. But usually you have to dig those out of a menu. Meanwhile, texting was built for efficient communication. One of the most common things you have to communicate is an ‘affirmative’. Yes to whatever you just said. I agree. I approve. I acquiesce.

And so “k” was born. A one-letter affirmative. But it still requires several clicks. To open the messaging field, to type the letter, and to send it.

But *BAM*, the Like Reply button does it in a single gesture. Facebook even has a Like button thumbs-up sticker, but this makes it instantly accessible in the right situations. The bright blue one on Android looks especially sharp. Yes, this will save you one second. But it could save you and everyone else that one second hundreds of times, multiplied by 750 million mobile users a month. Efficiency matters.

I’ve always wanted this for text messaging. Actually, not just for replies but as way to signal to people that was lighter-weight than a text message. I called it the “nudge”. A little buzz, even more subtle than an SMS. If I said I’d pick you up in 10 minutes, and you get a nudge 11 minutes later, it means come outside. If it’s late and I want to see if you’re up, I might nudge you. If I’m free to meet up with friends and want to ping a bunch of them? Mass nudge. Much less annoying than “Hey guys wanna hang out with me? I’m lonely.”

This is nice step towards my dream of openly interpretable binary communication. Try it out next time you need to confirm something via Facebook message. We’ll see if it catches on.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

After Testing It With Facebook Messenger, Mozilla Signs Up Weibo, Mixi, MSN Now And CliqZ To Firefox’s Social API

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Mozilla_Nightly_icon_2011

Last November, Mozilla announced that it had worked with Facebook to launch a first preview of its Social API for Firefox by integrating Facebook Messenger into Firefox 17. The Social API allows social networks, blog networks or news sites to easily add persistent social sidebars, toolbar notifications and chat features to the browser, no matter which site a user is looking at. At the time, Mozilla wasn’t quite ready to announce any additional partners for this API. But today the organization announced that it will soon expand this effort with additional services in Firefox Nightly, including Japanese social network Mixi, Microsoft’s MSN Now, new site, CliqZ and the Chinese microblogging service Weibo.

“We are really excited about the possibilities that Social API brings to the future of browsing, including ways to integrate even more social providers, e-mail, finance, news and other applications and services into your Firefox experience,” Mozilla writes in today’s announcement.

When Mozilla launched the Facebook Messenger integration, Mozilla’s VP of Firefox Engineering Jonathan Nightingale told me that the organization wanted to see how it could marry the trend toward more social experiences on the web with the browser. Firefox’s App Tabs were a first attempt to solve this, but, as Nightingale told me, “people still had to work around the limitations of browsers because they were treating social just like any other sites.”

The current Facebook Messenger integration is pretty straightforward and adds a set of Messenger buttons to the toolbar and pops up a sidebar to start chats (see image above). Last November, the Firefox team wasn’t sure how to integrate more than one service yet, but that obviously wasn’t an issue at the time, given that only Facebook Messenger was integrated in the service so far. It’s not clear how the Firefox team has solved this issue, but we’ll surely see the solution once these new providers go live in one of the next Firefox Nightly releases.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

Facebook Has An Office “Library” Of Mobile Phones To Ensure It Works Across Developing Market Devices

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Facebook Mobile Phones

The first world might use just a handful of handsets, but the key to Facebook’s growth is emerging markets fragmented across over 7,000 smart and dumb phones. To help it bug test for all these, Facebook keeps an office “library” of mobile devices, product manager Peter Deng revealed. So what’s the team testing now? A version of Messenger for feature phones that doesn’t require a Facebook account.

Until today, all of Facebook’s products required an email address for sign up. But there are tons of people who don’t have smartphones or email addresses in emerging markets. These places like India and Brazil are Facebook’s growth targets where it has low penetration, but high signup rates and plenty of people left to serve. For example, India has a population of over 1 billion but Facebook has just 65 million users there.

Now it’s rolling out a version of Facebook Messenger that doesn’t require an email address or Facebook account to sign up. You only need to enter your full name and phone number to signup. This opens it up to a huge new market. Non-Facebook Messenger could let people see the value of Facebook and then convince them to acquire an email address if they don’t have one and then set up an account.

Currently, non-Facebook Messenger is only for Android, but that’s where the office library of mobile phones comes in. Today at Le Web, Deng revealed that a version for feature phones is in development. To cram any approximation of the group chat, photo sharing, geolocation, and other capabilities of Messenger into a feature phone, it will have to do some serious testing. If it releases a buggy product, it could leave a sour taste in the mouth of people who might be trying Facebook for the first time.

Facebook engineers can take obscure mobile devices from the library, and run their alpha builds on them to check for compatibility. Small developers often complain about mobile fragmentation and the myriad of Android and feature phones in particular. Thanks to Facebook’s size, it doesn’t have to ship with its fingers crossed. It knows its app will work in the most remote corners of the planet.

Article courtesy of TechCrunch

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