messaging

Instagram killing another feature: Should I just quit?

Instagram killing another feature: Should I just quit?

Instagram announced the death of another feature this week, not long after rumors surfaced of the axing of public likes. This is just the latest in a line of changes for Instagram, an app and company that's coming closer and closer to its parent company, Facebook. I quit using Facebook a few months ago for all but the rarest family communication - is it time I gave Instagram the boot as well? NOTE: If it weren't clear already, the opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily shared by SlashGear or associated entities.

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WhatsApp bug allowed Israeli spyware to infiltrate phones

WhatsApp bug allowed Israeli spyware to infiltrate phones

There are currently quite a number of messaging services, a handful of them from Google itself, but few have withstood the test of time and of the market. WhatsApp, even before its acquisition by Facebook, was already making waves but its popularity and notoriety rose after being snatched up by the social networking giant. It prided itself for its end-to-end encryption, one of the few mainstream platforms to advertise such a feature, but that turned out to be pretty useless if a vulnerability allowed certain actors to inject spyware into phones by simply ringing up the phone.

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Facebook Messenger gets desktop apps, Instagram and WhatsApp integration

Facebook Messenger gets desktop apps, Instagram and WhatsApp integration

Facebook Messenger is getting a desktop app for Mac and Windows, addressing one of the biggest complaints about the IM platform, as the company meshes its three messaging services. Announced at F8 2019, the social networking company's developer focused event, today, the new app will bring Facebook's newest version of Messenger to a standalone app, rather than forcing desktop users to access it in the browser.

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Consumer BBM is shutting down, but BlackBerry throws a lifeline

Consumer BBM is shutting down, but BlackBerry throws a lifeline

The consumer version of BBM is shutting down, though BlackBerry is swinging in to rescue users still clinging to the storied instant messaging service. While BBM - née BlackBerry Messenger - may have once been the glue that kept BlackBerry users addicted to their phones, in recent years more capable rivals have stolen market share.

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Facebook Messenger dark mode now available for all users

Facebook Messenger dark mode now available for all users

Last month, Facebook released a dark mode for Messenger, but users had to unlock it through an Easter Egg involving the crescent moon emoji. Anyone who missed the news wouldn't have known the dark interface was an option, but that changes today with the universal launch of this frequently requested feature. Facebook Messenger users can now directly enable dark mode, no emojis necessary.

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Instagram Direct Messages could be coming to desktop, web soon

Instagram Direct Messages could be coming to desktop, web soon

Mark Zuckerberg wants to unify the company's separate messaging services. Not everyone agrees, especially considering the privacy nightmare it could lead to. The social networking giant, however, could be attacking the problem from a slightly different angle. There are now signs that Instagram is playing around with a version of its Direct messaging feature for web browsers on desktops. And while this might sound like a great standalone feature, it could also be just the opening salvo for a series of changes.

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WhatsApp update hits users with 5-person limit to forwards

WhatsApp update hits users with 5-person limit to forwards

The newest update to WhatsApp seems to be moving the messaging service closer to that of its associated brand partners. In an effort to curb the misuse of the platform around the world, the app will soon have a limit of five forwards for every unique message. At this moment it's not clear how lenient the algorithm for this limit will be. For example, what if I changed just one letter - is that a different message?

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Why Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram cross-service encryption can’t happen

Why Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram cross-service encryption can’t happen

The proof is in the pudding when it comes to suggested end-to-end encryption of a single messaging system between Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Today a statement from Facebook suggests that they're "working on making more of our messaging products end-to-end encrypted and considering ways to make it easier to reach friends and family across networks." But it's not that sentence that's important - it's the one that comes right after it that tells me what I suspect is probably true.

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WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger unification is Zuckerberg’s new obsession

WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger unification is Zuckerberg’s new obsession

Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram messaging will be joined together, as the social network pulls together the various apps and services it owns. The shift will present a considerable architectural challenge for Facebook engineers, though the expectation is that - at least initially - end-users won't necessarily see any difference.

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Hangouts for G Suite shutting down in October, consumer to follow

Hangouts for G Suite shutting down in October, consumer to follow

Hangouts is dead! Long live Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet! Google has never really had a long-lasting and unified messaging solution so it was no surprise when it announced that Hangouts would be retired in favor of two apps that provided functionality previously found in a single service. There’s no need to panic yet, though, because it’s going to take a while for that to happen. Meanwhile, Google is urging G Suite admins to slowly take the steps to transition their users to the two new apps.

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WhatsApp limits message forwarding to combat false information

WhatsApp limits message forwarding to combat false information

WhatsApp is once again making changes to message forwarding. Beginning today, WhatsApp users will only be able to forward messages to five users at a time, down from the previous limit of 20. The goal, WhatsApp explains, is to curb the spread of misinformation and rumors on the service, which has been the cause of a lot of safety concerns.

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Google Fi pushing RCS next-gen SMS to compatible phones

Google Fi pushing RCS next-gen SMS to compatible phones

SMS is one of those technologies that just won’t easily die despite how outdated it has become in an age of instant messaging and apps. Rather than kill it off completely, some are instead trying to build rich new features on top of it. That’s what RCS, short for Rich Communication Services, practically is and, starting today, one of its biggest proponents is finally adopting it on its own network. Yes, Google is finally pushing RCS to Google Fi, provided you have a compatible Android phone.

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