Facebook launches Messenger Rooms (Chat with up to 50 people, send links to non-FB users)

Video conferencing system Zoom has seen its user base explode over the past few months as millions of people stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19. So it’s not surprising to see rivals starting to copy some of Zoom’s most popular features. Case in point — Facebook has launched a new group video […]

Facebook Messenger is now available as a desktop app for Windows or Mac

Zoom may be grabbing all the headlines lately (for better or worse), but it’s hardly the only option for making video calls over the internet. Microsoft has Skype. Google has Hangouts. And Facebook has Messenger — which is now available as a desktop app. You can now download Facebook Messenger from the Microsoft Store or […]

Facebook launches 3 new Portal video-calling devices with prices starting at $129

As promised earlier this year, Facebook is launching its Portal line of video-calling smart displays in more countries and adding support for WhatsApp video calls as well as Facebook Messenger. But the company is also launching three new Portal devices, all of which are cheaper than the original models Facebook launched last year. The new Portal […]

Facebook introduces Portal: A video chat device for $199 and up

Facebook’s smart display is here… but the Facebook Portal isn’t really the Amazon Echo competitor many folks had been expecting. In fact, Facebook is using Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to power voice controls — so this is more of a collaboration with Amazon than a competition. You can talk to the device by saying “Hey […]

Facebook Messenger Lite now available in the US, UK, Ireland, and Canada (Android-only)

It’s been a while since Facebook slit up its mobile apps and required users to download Facebook Messenger in addition to the main Facebook app. But if you don’t need all the bells and whistles that come with Facebook Messenger, now there’s a light-weight option. Faacebook initially launched Messenger Lite in 2016 as an app […]

Facebook’s M assistant finally arrives in Messenger… offers suggestions based on your chats

It’s been almost two years since Facebook unveiled its M digital assistant software for Facebook Messenger. Initially only available to a small group of testers, M is now launching for everyone in the US. So what does that mean? Basically that M will analyze your chats and try to suggest relevant content. It’s basically the […]

Facebook brings games to Android and iOS apps

Facebook may be a social networking site first and foremost, but the company also has a long history of enabling developers to create games that users can play on their own or with friends. As a growing percentage of Facebook’s users are accessing the site on mobile devices, Facebook is taking a step that helps […]

Facebook Messenger for Android is now an SMS app too

Google’s attempts to integrate SMS with Hangouts might not have been universally popular, but that hasn’t stopped another company from trying to bring together instant messaging and SMS. The latest version of Facebook Messenger for Android now lets you send and receive text messages over a cellular network. Of course you can still use Facebook […]

Like Microsoft, Facebook believes that chatbots are the future

It’s (not really) official: chatbots are the new apps. Two weeks after Microsoft launched a new platform designed to help developers create chatbots that can interact with users in Skype, Outlook, Slack, and other platforms, Facebook has launched its own bot-making tools. The Facebook Messenger Platform allows developers to create bots that allow Facebook Messenger and Facebook […]

Facebook brings free, cross-platform mobile video calling to Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a free mobile app that lets you chat with your contacts using text, images, emoji, and voice recordings. Now it has a new feature: video calling. Facebook has added a video button which you can tap from any conversation to start a video call. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Android or iOS, […]

Facebook Messenger becomes a platform (with support for third-party apps)

Facebook is opening up its Messenger app to third-party developers. Basically the app which currently lets Facebook users send messages to one another will become a platform with support for additional features. Popular Chinese messaging app WeChat and others already offer similar features. But Facebook’s entry into the space could be huge: Messenger already has […]