Facebook Messenger


'Facebook Messenger' Articles

Facebook Fights US Government Demand to Break Messenger Encryption in Criminal Case

Facebook is contesting a demand from the U.S. government that it break the encryption of its popular Messenger app so that law enforcement can listen in to a suspect's conversations as part of an ongoing investigation into the MS-13 gang. The U.S. Department of Justice's demand is in relation to a case proceeding in a federal court in California that is currently under seal, so public files are unavailable. However, Reuters' sources said the judge in the case heard arguments on Tuesday on a government motion to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request. Facebook says it can only comply with the government's request if it rewrites the code relied upon by all its users to remove encryption or else hacks the government's current target, according to Reuters. Legal experts differed over whether the government would likely be able to force Facebook to comply. However, if the government gets its way in the case, experts say the precedent could allow it to make similar arguments to force other tech companies to compromise their encrypted communications services. Messaging platforms like Signal, Telegram, Facebook's WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage all use end-to-end encryption that prevents communications between sender and recipient from being accessed by anyone else, including the service providers. Tech companies have pushed back against previous attempts by authorities to break encryption methods, such as the FBI's request that Apple help it hack into the iPhone owned by Syed Farook, one of the shooters in the December

Facebook Messenger Expanding Chat Translation to All Users in United States and Mexico

Facebook today announced it is expanding chat translation within Messenger to all users in the United States and Mexico. When you receive a message in a language that is different from your default language in Messenger, Facebook's artificial intelligence assistant M will automatically offer a suggestion to translate the message. When you tap on the suggestion, you will be asked to enable auto-translation. Upon doing so, all future messages received that are not in your default language will be automatically translated. "This is a meaningful milestone for M Suggestions and will enable people to connect with people they would not be able to communicate with otherwise in a way that is seamless and natural," a Messenger spokesperson said. Auto-translation is enabled on a per-conversation basis, and all messages are shown in both the original language and translated version. You can opt-out of the feature at any time via the M Settings menu in Messenger, accessible by tapping your profile picture in the top-left corner of the app. At launch, M can translate from English to Spanish, and vice versa. Facebook plans to add other languages and countries in the future. Facebook first launched chat translation via M for users of its Marketplace service in the United States in early May. M Suggestions as a whole launched in April 2017, and are now available in 11 countries and five languages. At its F8 developer conference last month, Facebook previewed an upcoming redesign of Messenger, including a simplified user interface, a dark mode, and customizable chat

Facebook Messenger Update Shown Off in Images: Dark Mode, Simplified UI, and Custom Chat Bubbles

Yesterday during its F8 conference, Facebook announced that an update coming to Messenger would simplify the chat app and reduce the amount of visual clutter that had been added into the user interface over the last few years. The Next Web has shared images of this new update, showing off the cleaned up interface, a dark mode, and more. Images via The Next Web The updated Facebook Messenger greatly reduces the number of buttons on the bottom of the screen to just three, and moves the camera and call buttons to the top right of the UI. In the current app, the bottom row has five buttons for Home, People, Camera, Games, and Discover. As The Next Web pointed out, Facebook doesn't appear to be removing any features from Messenger, so anything that appears missing is believed to be combined into another button. Messenger will still open on a recent chat list, with circles of friends aligning the top of the screen that includes a + button to add to your Messenger Day story, the app's Snapchat clone feature. When you click on a chat, the bottom-screen UI buttons shift to include options for chat bots, the camera, and emoji. In this screen, you'll also be able to customize your chat with various color options and set what appears to be a shortcut to your favorite emoji. During the keynote on the update, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company knows its users want a "simple and fast experience" in a chat app, so it would be "taking this moment to completely redesign Messenger to focus on these ideas." Facebook introduced a pared-down version called Messenger

Facebook Messenger Adds New Admin Privileges Amid Backlash Over Company's Mishandling of User Data

Facebook today announced the rollout of a new feature in Messenger called "Admin Privileges." With this toggled on, the company said that it will give specific users in a group chat "more control" over who partakes in the chat, and should help boost the app's privacy. If you have admin privileges you'll be able to approve or decline new members before they join the chat, remove members already in a chat, and promote or demote any other person as an admin. The company said that the feature should help large groups who need to get in touch but may not be connected to on Facebook, like for a friend's surprise party. There are also new joinable links that any member can create and send out to potential new members, which an admin will then be able to approve. These admin privileges will be turned off by default: The great thing about admin privileges in Messenger is they work in the background; if your group chat doesn’t need that level of control, it won’t get in the way of your group messaging. You’ll have the option to decide if you’d like admin approval for approving new members, but this preference is off by default in your group chat settings. Today's Facebook Messenger update launches at the same time that Facebook is facing immense scrutiny for its involvement with consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which itself has been tied to President Trump's 2016 election campaign. According to recent reports, the firm improperly amassed information from 50 million Facebook users without their consent and used that data to "target messages to voters." In the wake of

Facebook Messenger Streamlines Controls for Creating Group Video and Audio Chats

In December 2016, Facebook Messenger rolled out the ability for users to create group video chats with up to six members participating, and today the company has further streamlined the feature. Before today's update, if users were already in a one-on-one video or audio call they had to hang up, start a new conversation, and choose every member to invite to the new group chat. Now, while in a video chat or voice call, there will be a new "add person" icon so that users can simply scrub through a list of their Facebook Messenger friends, tap who to invite, and wait for them to join -- all without leaving the original call. With the ability to add more people seamlessly to your calls, you can continue your conversation in the moment, just like if you were together in real life. Never again worry about skipping a beat when sharing your BFF’s spontaneous karaoke performance on Messenger. Sharing moments like these is now a few quick taps away. Otherwise, the feature remains the same with six total users able to video chat at once and various filters and effects still supported. After the call ends, Facebook Messenger also creates a group chat automatically in each user's inbox, so that members can keep texting one another. Facebook's refinement to group video chats in Messenger comes as a similar feature has yet to debut in Apple's FaceTime app. The long-requested, multi-person FaceTime call update is now being rumored for a potential launch within iOS 12 later this year, but Bloomberg has stated that it may not be ready for a debut in 2018. If group video calls

Facebook Messenger Bug Preventing Some iPhone Users From Being Able to Type Messages

Many Facebook Messenger users have taken to social media today to point out a frustrating keyboard bug occurring within the iPhone app (via TechCrunch). According to the affected users, Messenger is "totally broken" and freezes after they type a few words in a chat window. Users have tried force closing the app, as well as deleting and reinstalling it, but nothing has yet fixed it. Facebook confirmed that it is looking into the bug, "but for now there's no word from the company on what is causing it and how it plans to fix it." DearFacebook, pleaseFix messenger so ICan typeMoreThanA couple wordsThanks— Adam Colgan 🏳️‍🌈 (@nerdenator) January 18, 2018 There also appears to be no workaround, so those needing to contact someone on Facebook Messenger will need to use another device or visit the social network on the web. Complaints on Twitter about the problem show that issues began late last night and have persisted into the morning. One user reported that the bug caused their iPhone 6s Plus to crash, and another theorized that the source of the problem might be with the app's autocorrect function. Earlier this week, Facebook vice president of messaging products, David Marcus, admitted that Messenger's mobile app has become "too cluttered." In response to this, the company will invest in "massively simplifying and streamlining" Messenger in

Facebook VP: Messenger App 'Too Cluttered' and Will Be 'Massively' Streamlined This Year

Facebook vice president of messaging products, David Marcus, posted an update on Messenger today, outlining the app's successes in 2017 and hinting at what the team has planned for 2018. In the post, Marcus mentioned that the Messenger team knows the app has become "too cluttered." Because of this, they have planned a big update for 2018, which will introduce a simplified and streamlined experience for Facebook Messenger (via The Verge). Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart. A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t. While we raced to build these new features, the app became too cluttered. Expect to see us invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year. In 2017 alone, Facebook Messenger added its 24-hour Snapchat clone "Messenger Day," introduced location sharing, integrated AI assistant "M" into the app, added Apple Music and Spotify extensions, let users purchase products with a MasterCard chatbot, introduced PayPal P2P payments, and even announced a Messenger spin-off app for kids. The main Messenger app got a redesign in May 2017, with Facebook stating at the time that the changes helped "make Messenger simpler for you." Now it appears that the company will try again to simplify the chat app in 2018. Marcus didn't specify which parts of Facebook Messenger might be removed in the streamlining process, but he did mention a few aspects that the company will continue to focus on in 2018. These include doubling down on "visual messaging" -- i.e. gifs,

Facebook Announces Messenger App for Kids That Parents Can Remotely Monitor

Facebook today is rolling out a preview for a new standalone app aimed at kids under the age of 13, which the company says was built to make it easier for kids to "safely video chat and message with family and friends." The "Messenger Kids" preview is available only on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in the United States, letting young family members download the app, which can then be controlled by their parent's Facebook account. Facebook said that it developed the app with guidance from the National PTA, as well as experts in child development and online safety. Messenger Kids does not require children to create a Facebook account, but instead asks parents to download the app, authenticate it, and then create a miniature profile of their kid that is linked to the parent's Facebook account. Once parents set up an account, kids can have one-on-one or group video calls only with contacts approved by their parents. The home screen of the app shows these approved contacts, as well as which are online. Whether it’s using video chat to talk to grandparents, staying in touch with cousins who live far away, or sending mom a decorated photo while she’s working late to say hi, Messenger Kids opens up a new world of online communication to families. This preview is available on the App Store for iPad, iPod touch, and iPhone. Like other Facebook apps, there are a wide variety of masks, emojis, and sound effects to use within video chats. Kids will be able to send photos, videos, and text messages -- and edit them with GIFs, frames, stickers, and doodling tools -- to their

Facebook Tests Yet Another Snapchat-Like Feature With Messenger 'Streaks'

Facebook is continuing its seemingly relentless trend of copying Snapchat with the testing of a new feature that plays on the latter's chat streak challenge, which encourages users to "keep your streak going" when messaging friends. Facebook Messenger streaks include an emoji status to indicate friends that a user is currently in a streak with – who they've messaged for at least two days in a row – and encourages them to keep chatting to keep the streak alive. Messenger is testing out streak counts... Streak counts really bug me. pic.twitter.com/leDRemkSR3— case (@CaseSandberg) November 22, 2017 A spokesperson for Facebook Messenger who spoke to Mashable confirmed its testing of the feature, saying it was a way "to see at a glance fun facts about the people you message with". "For example, a lightning bolt may appear next to the name of a person you've messaged with for at least three days in a row, and a counter will indicate how many consecutive days you've been chatting. We're interested to see if people enjoy this insight, but we don't have any additional information to share at this time."Streaks have been a popular feature with younger Snapchat users for some time, with many seeing them as a fun, addictive challenge to see how long they can make a streak last for. Whether or not the trend catches on with the wider age demographic of Messenger users is a different proposition, and will undoubtedly dictate the chances of a wider rollout. In its last straight-up feature clone, Facebook created a facsimile of Snapchat's day-long, vanishing post idea in Facebo

Facebook Rolls Out Messenger Instant Payments Service to Users in the UK

Facebook said on Monday that Messenger users in the U.K. will be able to send money to each other through the app as it rolls out its peer-to-peer payments feature in the next few weeks (via BBC). The Messenger payments service was originally launched in 2015, but hasn't been available to users outside the United States until now. The social network said it has been used in that time to make all sorts of transactions, including to split restaurant bills, pay babysitters, and send cash gifts. Most users send less than $50 (£38), according to the company. Facebook said it had chosen to bring Messenger payments to the U.K. because it has so many "mobile-savvy consumers". It is collaborating with major banks and credit card firms to launch the feature, which requires both the sender and recipient to register their cards. Facebook is also introducing M suggestions, a virtual assistant that recognizes when users are discussing payments and suggests the Messenger payments as a quick and easy solution. The U.K. is already home to a similar bank-run peer-to-peer payments service called Paym, which allows registered users to pay each other using just their phone number. Paym says four million people have used the service at one time or another over the past three and a half years, amounting to £400 million worth of transactions, but Facebook will hope that it is uniquely positioned to become more widely used, thanks to its large existing Messenger user

Facebook Announces Halloween-Themed Camera Effects, Posts, and Interactive Game

Following Instagram's debut of Halloween filters yesterday, Facebook today announced the launch of Halloween-themed camera effects, posts, and even a new interactive game within the camera on the app. The update will be rolling out starting today and leading up to Halloween next Tuesday, October 31. Included in the update are more than twelve different masks and frames themed around the holiday, and Facebook Live broadcasts will gain Halloween effects that you can place directly into your videos. In the camera there will also be a virtual game that turns you into a trick-or-treater who has to jump their way out of a haunted house by hopping up the walls to escape. The game uses face tracking as its controls, so turning your head side to side changes the direction in which you jump, allowing you to climb higher and avoid traps, similar to the iOS game Doodle Jump. When you finish you can share your high score with a photo and send a challenge to friends to beat your record. The colored background options on text posts will gain new themed backgrounds, including bats, pumpkins, a graveyard, and more. Additionally, Facebook plans to ensure that you're aware of Halloween events near you by sending prompts about local events to your feed. Besides the main Facebook iOS app, Messenger will also gain various Halloween masks and frames for you to take pictures with, as well as send videos to friends. Facebook is known to launch holiday updates like this, doing the same one year ago with Halloween-themed reactions and using its acquisition of MSQRD to debut Halloween

You Can Now Pay Friends Through Facebook Messenger Using PayPal

Last year, PayPal launched within Facebook Messenger as a way for users to shop and complete payments directly through the messaging app. Today, the two companies are expanding the focus of this feature and opening up peer-to-peer payments for Facebook Messenger users who have linked their PayPal account to the app. With a rollout starting today, Facebook Messenger users will be able to tap on the blue plus icon within the app, then select the green Payments button, and choose PayPal to send money. This functionality will work in one-on-one conversations, as well as in group texts. PayPal said this will make it easy to split a bill, pay rent, and more. Although PayPal's press release doesn't specify, the company's image depicting the new feature confirms that a user's PayPal balance and linked banking accounts can be chosen for P2P payments in Facebook Messenger. We’re excited today to announce an expansion of our relationship with Facebook with the addition of PayPal as a funding source for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, right in Messenger. People will have the option to send and request money using their PayPal account, and this integration in Messenger is starting to roll out to U.S. consumers today. As the leader in P2P payments with $24 billion in P2P volume during Q3 2017 alone (up 47% year-over-year), the ability to send and request money in Messenger – one of the most widely used apps in the world – gives people more choice and more convenient ways to get things done in different contexts. Whether it’s splitting a bill for a cab ride or a night

Facebook Messenger's Apple Music Chat Extension for Recommendations and Sharing Songs Now Rolling Out

Facebook's Messenger service was today updated with a new Apple Music chat extension, allowing Messenger users to link to Apple Music content to share songs and directly within the Messenger app. The extension can be accessed by tapping on the "+" icon next to the text bar to add Apple Music to a conversation. There's also an option to interact directly with the Apple Music chat bot to ask for music recommendations. Apple Music subscribers can listen to full tracks from Apple Music, while non-subscribers are able to share and listen to 30 second clips from any music track. There's an option directly within Messenger to sign up for Apple Music. This feature appears to still be rolling out to users. While Engadget has access, we're not yet seeing full functionality. Facebook first announced plans for both Spotify and Apple Music integration in Messenger in April of 2017. The Spotify chat extension has been available for months ahead of the launch of the Apple Music

Facebook Messenger Home Screen Ads Rolling Out Worldwide

Home screen ads in Facebook Messenger, which have been in testing in Australia and Thailand since January, will soon roll out to all users in a beta capacity, Facebook announced in a blog post this morning. The Facebook Messenger home screen currently displays recent messages from friends, "Shared Days," Favorites, and friends who are currently online. When ads roll out, this screen will also feature tailored advertisements similar to the ads already displayed on Facebook and Instagram.Today we're pleased to announce the global beta expansion of Messenger ads. People already spend time on Messenger interacting and conducting commerce with businesses and brands they love, and now with Messenger ads, they have an opportunity to discover experiences directly on their home tab.Home screen ads will join "Click to Messenger" ads that drive customers to Messenger after clicking an ad in Facebook or Instagram, and sponsored messages, designed to let companies to send ads to users after an interaction to "re-engage." According to Facebook, a "small percentage" of people will begin to see ads on the Messenger home screen towards the end of the month as the company begins to build ad inventory. Facebook says ads will gradually be extended to additional users over the coming months as it learns from the beta experience to ensure it is "continuing to deliver the best experience." Global ads will be available to a select number of advertisers starting today, and those advertisers can begin to add Messenger to their ad

Facebook Messenger Gets Reactions and Filters in Video Chat, New Assistant Suggestions

Facebook this week announced it has added several new features to video chatting in its Messenger app for iPhone and iPad. In both one-on-one and group video chats, Messenger users can now add or use animated reactions, filters, effects, and new masks, while Facebook has added a conveniently placed camera icon to take a screenshot of your video chat. For animated reactions, Messenger users can choose one of five emoji icons: love, laughter, surprise, sadness, or anger. Tapping an emoji generates a related reaction that animates on the screen for a short period of time. On the artificial intelligence side, Facebook has expanded the capabilities of Messenger's built-in "M" personal assistant, adding a "save it for later" function, birthday wishes, and call initiations, according to Engadget. The personal assistant, which is currently available in the United States only, is designed to provide proactive suggestions in Messenger [Direct Link].

Spotify Announces Group Playlists for Messenger

Spotify today announced a new mobile feature called Group Playlists for Messenger, which enables users of Facebook's chat app to create music mixes collaboratively within a conversation thread. With Group Playlists for Messenger, users can create new Spotify playlists with friends and immediately begin collaborating to build out their perfect mix. Ideal for parties, road trips, or simply collecting new favorites, Group Playlists provide a seamless way for users to collaborate and share music more easily than ever before.The new feature means Messenger users can create a Group Playlist, share it with friends, and add songs to it directly from within the Messenger app via the Spotify Chat Extension, which is available by tapping the blue + icon next to the composer. By tapping the Create button at the bottom of the screen, users can give their playlist a name before sending it to the group chat session, where it will appear as a thumbnail preview accompanied by a button below to add songs. While the person creating the playlist must be a current Spotify user, others in the conversation thread can add more songs to it, even if they aren't on Spotify. The Group Playlists extension can also be accessed from within Messenger using this link.

Facebook Messenger Redesign Makes it Easier to Navigate, Find Online Friends, and Play Games

Facebook today revealed a new redesign coming to its standalone Facebook Messenger app for iOS and Android, with subtle UI changes that emphasize new features like games, while making it easier to see which friends are online and what notifications have been missed (via TechCrunch). The main UI addition is the introduction of three new tabs atop the app for messages, active friends, and groups, which Facebook believes is a way to ensure that Messenger is "your hub for connecting with all the people and businesses you care about." The company also hopes that the more prominent positioning of active friends encourages Messenger users to interact with people in real time more often, since it's easier to scroll through a list of online friends than before. The app now stretches to encompass the iOS toolbar at the top of the screen, instead of stopping below the bar as before. Facebook Messenger's previous design (left) compared to its upcoming design (right) These changes are designed to make Messenger simpler for you - to help you get to your contacts quickly, jump into your conversations where you left off, start new chats, and stay up to date. The tabs at the bottom of the iOS app now have descriptions as well, including Home, Calls, People, and Games, the last of which is another new addition to Facebook Messenger. Games within the app launched earlier this month, allowing users to play a variety of single-player and turn-based games directly within the app, similar to a few gaming apps on the iOS Messages App Store. One aspect of Facebook Messenger that's been

MasterCard Shopping Chatbots Now Taking Orders on Facebook Messenger

MasterCard added its digital wallet Masterpass to Facebook Messenger this week, enabling consumers to place online orders via the chat platform with just a few clicks. The rollout is still in the initial stages but the payment system is already available for some food merchants, including Subway, The Cheesecake Factory, and FreshDirect. The transaction process involves searching for and interacting with a Messenger chat bot to specify the order from a range of options. The user then arranges a pick-up or delivery location, followed by checkout confirmation, where they pay for the order via Masterpass. With 1.2 billion users on Messenger, MasterCard hopes the feature will boost fast food sales online by removing the need for consumers to type in their card information for every transaction. Instead, consumers load their card number and other identifying information onto the digital wallets and then use the wallets for faster shopping. That said, users still need to input their password for every Masterpass transaction, so the system lacks the ease of use of biometric mobile payment systems like Apple Pay. MasterCard is said to be working on a similar solution. MasterCard's plans to bring merchant transaction bots to Facebook's chat service where revealed in October. The credit card company also unveiled plans for bank bots, through which users can ask questions about their account, look at purchase history, monitor spending levels, receive financial assistance, and more.

Apple Music and Spotify Chat Extensions Coming to Facebook Messenger

Facebook today announced plans to integrate both Spotify and Apple Music into Facebook Messenger, allowing Messenger users to link to Apple Music or Spotify content for sharing songs and playlists directly within the Facebook Messenger app. Apple has not shared details on how its chat extension will work, but Spotify published a blog post detailing the Spotify chat extension, which will undoubtedly share similarities with Apple Music. Using the Spotify chat extension, users can search and share Spotify songs, albums, and playlists. Song links will play 30 second clips, with users able to tap on a link to open the Spotify app to listen to a full song. The Spotify bot, in addition to allowing songs to be shared, will offer up playlist recommendations to users based on mood, activity, and genre. It's not clear if Apple will introduce a similar feature. Apple has made an effort to make Apple Music widely available on multiple platforms and services. It already integrates with the main Facebook app, and there's also an Android app and an iMessage extension. Spotify is available in Facebook Messenger first, with Apple Music integration coming at a later

Facebook Beats Apple to AI Assistant Chat Integration With 'M' For Messenger

Facebook announced its first virtual assistant on Thursday in the form of "M", which privately interjects in chat threads on Messenger to offer users suggestions related to the conversation. The feature goes beyond the platform's chat bot technology, offering recommendations for relevant stickers, GIFs, payments, rides and meeting times now appear to each user above the message composer in chat threads. The service launched as a beta test in December but was rolled out to all iOS and Android users in the U.S. as part of an app update. According to Facebook, M relies on AI machine learning techniques and is capable of learning the more it is used. Users can ignore or dismiss suggestions if they're not helpful, and the assistant can easily be muted it in settings. The full list of possible suggestions are as follows. Sending stickers: M shares fun sticker suggestions for your daily life interactions like “Thank you” or “Bye-bye.” Paying or requesting money: M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money. Sharing your location: M can suggest an option to share your location during a conversation. Making plans: If people are talking about getting together, M helps coordinating a plan. Starting a poll (in group conversations only): Have a hard time making decisions in a group? M lets you set a poll topic and vote in group conversations. Getting a Ride: Talking about going somewhere? M suggests “Get A Ride” and shares an option of Lyft or Uber.Apple is known to have looked at a similar