messaging

BlackBerry BBM app comes to Apple Watch

BlackBerry BBM app comes to Apple Watch

More and more iOS apps these are adding Apple Watch support, with many coming from the email and other communication categories. When it comes to direct messaging, however, the big apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are still missing in action. Fortunately for fans of BlackBerry's BBM messaging service, they can now look forward to their Apple Watch being compatible. The BBM app for iOS has been updated, and is available now from the App Store.

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Skype for Android updated with support for Android Wear

Skype for Android updated with support for Android Wear

Following a similar update to its iOS app that added Apple Watch support, Skype has just released an update for its Android version that introduces features for Android Wear devices. Version 6.4 of Skype is available now from the Google Play Store, and introduces the recently announced Skype Mojis, as well as the ability to respond to messages and accept or decline calls from an Android Wear smartwatch.

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New Firefox update adds built-in instant messaging

New Firefox update adds built-in instant messaging

Mozilla has announced the release of an update to its Firefox browser, now version 41, for both desktop platforms and Android. The biggest addition is that an instant messaging feature is now built right in, thanks to Mozilla's own Firefox Hello. The feature is currently limited to the desktop version of the browser, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and lets users start chatting during a Hello video call. Even better is that once Chrome and Opera are updated to support WebRTC, Firefox users can chat with others cross-browser.

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WhatsApp tops 900 million monthly active users

WhatsApp tops 900 million monthly active users

While other mobile messaging apps continue to grow in popularity, it seems none can push the Facebook-owned WhatsApp from its throne. Founder Jan Koum revealed that the app now has an incredible 900 million monthly active users. The news was shared by Koum in a Facebook post, and means that WhatsApp has gained an additional 100 million new users in just under five months, and achieved a 50% growth rate over the last year.

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Instagram Direct upgrades to corner messaging market

Instagram Direct upgrades to corner messaging market

Instagram has revamped its Direct feature, aiming to turn the photo messaging system into a real alternative to Twitter DMs and even dedicated IM apps. The new Instagram Direct - available in v7.5 of the app for both iOS and Android - supports threaded messages, a much-requested feature for common conversations, in addition to renaming support for group chat.

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Direct Messenger lets you use Twitter DMs and nothing else

Direct Messenger lets you use Twitter DMs and nothing else

While Twitter has been revamping its Direct Messages feature recently, including the elimination of the 140-character limit, letting users message people not following them, and supporting pictures & URLs, its official apps still heavily focus on the rest of the social network's uses. For those who've been wanting to just use Twitter's Direct Messages as a stand-alone chat app, now there's the unofficial app Direct Messenger for iOS.

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Facebook M assistant helps shopping in Messenger

Facebook M assistant helps shopping in Messenger

Facebook is launching its own personal digital assistant, M, with a beta of the chat-based artificial intelligence rolling out today for select Messenger users. Unlike Apple's Siri, M delivers its assistance via text discussion rather than spoken interactions; it's also more focused on shopping, with Facebook positioning it as a way to buy products, have gifts ordered and delivered, and arrange travel.

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WhatsApp’s desktop client now supports iOS

WhatsApp’s desktop client now supports iOS

The desktop web app for WhatsApp now finally supports iOS, roughly seven month after it debuted on Chrome and Android. While the name of the feature is a tad confusing, it's the option to continue using the messaging client on a desktop browser through the web.whatsapp.com portal. But in order to "login," users must already have the mobile app installed on their device, open it, and scan a QR screen that is displayed in the desktop browser.

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Google Hangouts now has its own hangout on the Web

Google Hangouts now has its own hangout on the Web

Google has been steadily simplifying the Google+ brand, primarily by separating the rather amorphous service from more stable and more independent products. The latest to get that treatment is Google's all-embracing Hangouts messaging platform. To emphasize the point that it is a distinct product separate from Google+, the tech giant has given it not only a facelift on mobile, but now also a home on the World Wide Web. Yes, Hangouts now has a website of its own and you can use it on a browser, no plugin required.

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Hangouts 4.0 for Android is finally here

Hangouts 4.0 for Android is finally here

Drop the pitchforks, Android users, because Google has finally released Hangouts 4.0 for your favorite Nexus, Galaxy, or other Android device. Following on more than a month from the Hangouts 4.0 for iPhone launch, the version for Google's own OS gets the fancy new Material Design UI to please the eyes, as well as a promised improvement in performance for those who were losing patience with the messaging client.

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Facebook adds new messaging options to Pages

Facebook adds new messaging options to Pages

Facebook Pages have become a common way for businesses to stay in contact with their customers, allowing them to post statuses with relevant information and allowing customers to reply to the statuses. In addition, customers are able to communicate with the businesses through private messaging on Pages. Today the social network updated its Pages' communication features, including new messaging options for users who want to talk with a company. This includes sending messages to companies through a dedicated message button on their Facebook advertisements.

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Viber updated with redesign, better quality and more

Viber updated with redesign, better quality and more

WhatsApp competitor Viber has updated both its Android and iOS apps with a bunch of improvements and new features, the most notable of which is the improved voice and video quality that, despite being better than ever, keeps data usage to a minimum. As with Facebook's Messenger and other similar apps, Viber allows users to make calls among themselves, eschewing using up minutes and, if you're on Wi-Fi, precious data. With this update, calls over 2G snap up only 84KBs of data per minute.

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