Facebook Is Turning to AI to Teach Kids About Stranger Danger

Scams and creepers abound on Facebook Messenger. To combat them, Facebook is now turning to artificial intelligence. A new AI-powered safety feature for Messenger will now help people, particularly kids, identify bad actors and notify them about suspect accounts – all without reading the actual messages themselves. Read More >>

For the Love of God, Don’t Use Facebook’s Video Chat Rooms

Facebook is now rolling out a Messenger Rooms platform that will allow video calls to simultaneously host up to 50 people, up from eight in existing Messenger video conferences. According to CNBC, the initial launch will feature a lower capacity than that, but the company is working to hit the target of 50 in the relative short term. That is significantly more than competitor Houseparty, which allows a maximum of eight concurrent users, while less than Zoom, which has a free version that allows for a max of 100 people – but only for 40 minutes. Messenger Rooms will have no time cap. Read More >>

Emoji We Lost

Who doesn’t love a good Google blob? From 2013-2017, these doughy emoji served a special role in the digital universe. They represented humans in the form of blobs and gum drop faces, with actual personalities. Often transformed by the type of gloves, hats, and wigs they wore, they spread joy over Android operating systems. But in 2017, Google wiped these guys from messages and emails and replaced them with more conventional emoji shapes – circles for faces, humans for humans. Similarly, between 2008 and 2018, Apple morphed their creepy evil twins with bunny ears into bland, happy dancers with bunny ears and a expressive rendering of two wing-shaped egg shells hovering over an egg into an ordinary frying pan. Boring. Read More >>

Facebook Working On a Messenger Feature for Sorting Your Real Friends From Your Fake Friends

Facebook is prototyping a feature to mimic Instagram’s Close Friends feature, which allows users to share some content with a select group of friends rather than everyone they’re connected with on the platform – a feature that might prove helpful for anyone hoping to keep snoopers out of their feeds. Read More >>

Facebook Did the Sneaky Listening Thing Too

Facebook has paid hundreds of contractors around the world to transcribe some of its users Messenger messages, according to a new Bloomberg report. The social network stopped doing the transcriptions a week ago, following public outrage after journalists revealed that Amazon, Google, and Apple employed similar teams to review voice commands for Alexa, Assistant, and Siri. But this Facebook news is somehow more foreboding than anything we’ve heard before. Read More >>

Facebook’s Ending Messenger Payments in the UK

One of the few people who ever actually used the Facebook Messenger payments function has received a message letting him know it'll be shut down on the 15th of June, thus tipping off the rest of us who never quite got round to trying it out. Read More >>

Facebook May Finally Stop Forcing You to Use Its Messenger App

Remember when a few years ago, Facebook forced us all to download the standalone Messenger app to chat with friends? It appears it’s now backtracking on that and looking to roll chats back into the main Facebook app. Read More >>

Facebook’s Promise to Give Us Zuckerberg’s Magical Delete Powers Looks Like a Bait-and-Switch

Back in April, Facebook was buried in the Cambridge Analytica scandal and really didn’t need extra headaches. So, when it was revealed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was able to delete his private messages from recipients’ inboxes, Facebook announced it would bring a delete feature to everyone. But Zuckerberg’s special delete button doesn’t appear to be what’s coming. Read More >>

Facebook Reportedly Defeats US Government Demand to Wiretap Messenger Calls

A joint US federal-state task force tracking the MS-13 gang tried and failed to force Facebook to help it wiretap calls made through its Messenger app, Reuters reported on Friday, even launching an unsuccessful attempt to hold the social media titan in contempt of court for refusing to do so. Read More >>

What the ‘Someone Is Typing’ Bubbles in Messaging Apps Actually Mean

Whether it’s a series of blinking ellipsis or an explicit notification that “someone’s typing,” the messaging feature known as a typing indicator is both a useful tool and a source of anxiety for many people. But knowing more about how it works can at least limit the guessing games that cause us stress. Read More >>

Facebook Admits to Major Screw-Up That Silently Unblocked People Without Asking

Facebook disclosed a new “bug” on Monday that temporarily let some users who’d been blocked on the service send messages to the people who had blocked them. The bug also let some previously-blocked users view posts that were shared “to a wider audience,” such as publicly or with friends of friends, Facebook said. Read More >>

Facebook Messenger Will Now Include Autoplaying Ads With Your Private Conversations

The problem with becoming a massively successful company that’s publicly traded is that you have to keep growing. Facebook is running out of new places to force its ads and it’s now going to start throwing autoplaying videos into Messenger. Read More >>

Facebook Is Pivoting to the Blockchain

We won’t really know what kind of consequences Facebook will face from the Cambridge Analytica scandal until its next earnings report, months from now. But Facebook is taking a lesson from struggling iced tea and camera companies by throwing some love to the blockchain. Investors: Are you happy now? Read More >>

Brace Yourself: Facebook Messenger Ads Are Here

More than 1.2 billion people use Facebook's Messenger every single month - and until now, it's been pretty much the only place Facebook users haven't been hit with ads. Read More >>

Facebook Adds Proper Games to Messenger

Facebook is adding more to its already packed Messenger app, and this is quite the seismic change -- proper games are coming to the chat portal's mobile apps and desktop sites along with group score tracking to keep track of who's best. Read More >>