Messaging

Google Meet hosts can now silence and hide disruptive participants

Google Meet hosts can now silence and hide disruptive participants

Google Meet, the video chatting platform similar to Zoom, is getting an important new feature that allows hosts to better control the overall experience. Google has announced on its Workspace blog that starting now for some users and in the near future for everyone else, Google Meet hosts can mute and hide the video feeds of disruptive participants.

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Facebook Messenger brings AR effects to video calls and Rooms

Facebook Messenger brings AR effects to video calls and Rooms

Facebook has announced that augmented reality effects can now be used by each participant in a Messenger Room or on a Messenger video call. The company calls these AR experiences "Group Effects," which will become more robust in coming months after Facebook expands access to the Spark AR Multipeer API. With this, more developers and creators will be able to make their own Group Effects.

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WhatsApp rolls out end-to-end encrypted chat cloud backups

WhatsApp rolls out end-to-end encrypted chat cloud backups

WhatsApp is now rolling out end-to-end encrypted chat cloud backups, enabling users to keep a copy of their messaging history without compromising their privacy. The feature is rolling out to users gradually while the company monitors the experience, ensuring any potential issues can be addressed before everyone has access to the backup option.

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Google Messages nudge takes a page out of Gmail’s book

Google Messages nudge takes a page out of Gmail’s book

The amount of information that we're bombarded with every day is almost a sure-fire way for important things to slip through the cracks. While many will rely on their brainpower to remember things, it has been proven that the majority of people tend to forget too easily. Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of technological solutions that try to give as a nudge about forgotten but important tasks, and Google is bringing one such solution to its Messages Android app after baking for years in Gmail.

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WhatsApp privacy promise might not be as strong as it sounds under Facebook

WhatsApp privacy promise might not be as strong as it sounds under Facebook

Facebook seems to have something like a reverse Midas touch where it infects anything it buys with a certain curse. Social networks that were thriving before they became Facebook properties have been transformed into questionable businesses that rely on violating privacy to make a profit. That even includes WhatsApp, whose claim to fame has always been its end-to-end encryption and privacy guarantee. Now it turns out that there might be a small loophole that gives Facebook a bit of wiggle room to actually break that trust, usually under the guise of observing the law.

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WhatsApp Last Seen status can soon be hidden from specific contacts

WhatsApp Last Seen status can soon be hidden from specific contacts

Instant messaging services introduced the idea of online statuses, allowing users to know whether their intended recipients are even around to read their messages. That eventually evolved into "Last Seen" information that gives other people some insight into a private part of your life. Most messaging services simply let you turn Last Seen visibility on or off, but WhatsApp might be considering a way to give users finer control over who can see it and who can't.

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Facebook test brings video and voice calls back to the main app

Facebook test brings video and voice calls back to the main app

Several years after making Messenger a standalone product, Facebook is testing the return of video and voice calls in its main app, according to the company. The test is only available to some Facebook mobile users, potentially encouraging them to utilize the social media platform as their primary way to chat with their friends beyond posting messages.

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Facebook Messenger gets new encrypted call and message features

Facebook Messenger gets new encrypted call and message features

A few years after Facebook rolled out end-to-end encryption for text-based chats comes a welcome update: end-to-end encrypted video and voice calls. With this new feature, users can engage in more secure calls over Facebook Messenger, giving them an alternative to WhatsApp and other similar platforms. Facebook has also added a new Messenger text feature for encrypted users, as well as offering a preview of what it has next in the pipeline.

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Google Meet is adding support for up to 25 co-hosts: Here’s how it works

Google Meet is adding support for up to 25 co-hosts: Here’s how it works

Google Meet is gaining broader support for co-hosts, with the newly-added ability to have up to 25 different people co-hosting within a single meeting. The update, being released on August 16, also adds new safety features in an attempt to avoid meetings being co-opted or disrupted, something which has become a challenge for most video conferencing platforms during this age of remote working.

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WhatsApp data transfer between Android and iOS is finally here

WhatsApp data transfer between Android and iOS is finally here

Before its acquisition by Facebook, WhatsApp was considered one of the more secure mainstream messaging services around. That was thanks to its end-to-end encryption that few of its rivals offered back then. While a boon for privacy and security, E2EE also has an unfortunate drawback that WhatsApp may not have anticipated in those days. Now the Facebook-owned chat platform is fixing that flaw by allowing iPhone users to their chat history completely to Android.

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Signal disappearing messages can now be the default for new chats

Signal disappearing messages can now be the default for new chats

There are many popular messaging platforms today that advertised a lot of privacy features, including that much-desired but controversial end-to-end encryption or E2EE. While WhatsApp is known for that feature, it isn't exactly the first nor the most popular in that area. Signal remains one of the most recommended privacy-minded messaging apps, and it is taking one small step further in ensuring its users have total control over their messages, especially their message history, with some new settings for disappearing messages.

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Apple child safety FAQ pushes back at privacy fears

Apple child safety FAQ pushes back at privacy fears

Apple has published a new FAQ on its child abuse scanning system, having prompted controversy last week with the announcement that it would use AI to spot potentially harmful or illegal material on iPhone and other devices. The system aims to identify signs of possible child grooming, or shared illicit photos and videos, though it caused concerns that the technology could eventually be misused.

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