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No friends? Don’t worry, the Allo @google bot will love you

No friends? Don’t worry, the Allo @google bot will love you

If you've ever gone looking for a friend to chat to, but nobody's online, don't worry: Google has your back. In Allo, the company's new messaging app, there's not only a friends list made up of your human contacts, but "@google", the chatting embodiment of the Google Assistant.

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YouTube’s Messenger will soon have you chatting inside YouTube

YouTube’s Messenger will soon have you chatting inside YouTube

Amazon may have just launched its Direct service to compete with YouTube, but the latter's upcoming feature widens its lead in the market yet again. As if it weren't enough to waste spend hours on YouTube actually watching videos, or even commenting on them, YouTube wants you to waste spend even more hours on its app chatting about those videos as well. Rolling out to a select few users at first is a new "native sharing" feature which is really just a fancy way of saying "YouTube Chat".

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BBM Video released in Beta for Android

BBM Video released in Beta for Android

Thank goodness, BBM Video has arrived (as a public Beta) in the United States this week. I, personally, was beginning to think it'd never arrive. Because I forgot that it existed, to be entirely honest. But now that it's here, BBM Video from Blackberry will be good to test against the masses of video messaging services that may have become complacent in the absence of any real massive competition. OR it'll be fun to speak with your one friend with a BlackBerry phone with video, at last.

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Facebook Messenger might be getting a Mac app

Facebook Messenger might be getting a Mac app

It is one of those unofficial rumors that both make sense and don't. Based on a blurry photo, it seems that Facebook is working on a dedicated Mac app for its Messenger chat service, independent of the Facebook instance that run inside your browser. If it's true and if the app ever sees the light of day in public, it would be the first time Facebook would provide a separate chatting experience on the desktop, something that it has already done for the mobile counterpart.

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Google’s newly tipped messaging app has chatbot assistants

Google’s newly tipped messaging app has chatbot assistants

Google’s artificial intelligence is being used to create a new mobile messaging app, according to sources. The messaging service will differ from Hangouts via the inclusion of chatbot assistants tasked with answering questions and following commands issued through the messaging app. Sources say the chatbots will hunt down the answer to users’ questions by searching the Web and “other sources," check the weather, set reminders, and more.

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Facebook Messenger payments expand test market, bring improvements

Facebook Messenger payments expand test market, bring improvements

Facebook Messenger's mobile payment system is going to undergo an update, which aims to increase user-friendliness, removing any obstacles that are preventing users from opting for Messenger for their peer-to-peer payment needs. The service was first introduced to Messenger users in March, in select U.S. cities such as Portland, Seattle, and Austin. The update adds New York City to the roster. The app just announced its incoming changes on Wednesday.

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Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

Google uses lax encryption for Hangouts; wiretapping very possible

If you’re on iOS, you likely use Facetime for video chats and iMessage for more casual text-based back-and-forth talks. If you use Android, Hangouts likely handles the same workload, but maybe not in the same way. While Apple’s chat services use end-to-end encryption, it’s now been discovered Google doesn’t subscribe to that school of thought. In a recent Reddit AMA, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) employee prompted a Googler to disclose just how secure Hangouts is. Spoiler: it isn’t very secure.

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Dropbox ‘commenting’ feature now available to all users

Dropbox ‘commenting’ feature now available to all users

If you use Dropbox to collaborate a workflow, you’ve probably been left scratching your head now and then. What is your colleague event talking about? Is this the right document for the project they were discussing in the meeting? Typically, that left you firing off emails or tracking them down via chat or stalking their cubicle. Now, you won’t have to be that person. Dropbox is opening up commenting within documents for all, which lets you discuss what’s going on with a particular document or project, all without ever leaving Dropbox.

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Quip adds Chat Rooms to take on Slack

Quip adds Chat Rooms to take on Slack

Mobile-first productivity app Quip is entering the chat age. While you could always carry a discussion within the confines of a document, Quip has updated their service to roll in Chat Rooms, which takes the conversation outside of your documents or folders. It’s an interesting move for Quip, which likely sees a bit of an opportunity as other services like Slack snipe users with their enterprise-first approach to chat. The update is rolling out soon to Quip’s Android and iOS apps.

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Twitter adjusts DM settings, now lets anyone contact you

Twitter adjusts DM settings, now lets anyone contact you

Getting Direct Messages via Twitter isn’t as good as a standalone chat client, but it’s a handy feature when you just need to have a quick chat with a contact. Today, Twitter is giving users a bit more control, and once again allowing Direct Messages from anyone (if you opt in, of course). Similarly, accounts you follow can now Direct Message you. While that sounds a bit sketchy, Twitter is a pretty profound customer service portal in addition to providing newsworthy content in 140 characters.

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Yahoo may be readying new Messenger to battle Snapchat, Periscope

Yahoo may be readying new Messenger to battle Snapchat, Periscope

You probably don’t use Yahoo Messenger. It’s tired, really. As a simple chat app, it’s fine, but we want more than that. In an age of sending each other more than words, Yahoo is way behind. Instead of dropping messaging, Yahoo may be priming a revamp to Messenger, one that reportedly combine live and recorded video sharing. This app is meant for mobile, though it’s not clear if Yahoo is also readying the app for your desktop as well. If the report is accurate, we’ll see this new Messenger by the end of Q2 2015.

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Slack: the hip and modern way to communicate at work

Slack: the hip and modern way to communicate at work

A lot of technologies have grown around the workplace, trying to ease the burden of collaboration, from cloud storage, to task management, to document management, and even video conferencing. Despite these advancements, however, a lot of the core communication that happens between members of a workplace still take place inside e-mails or instant messaging. That's not even considering yet the separate and disparate workflows that these tools impose. What if you could have just one virtual workplace to rule them all? That is partially the promise that Slack is trying to make as it undergoes yet another funding round.

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