You may want to put your shocked face on because it looks like Facebook is going to start putting ads in Facebook Messenger.
That was sarcasm folks.
The company announced today that they are going to begin testing ads in Messenger in Thailand and Australia with businesses having the option to have their products advertized below your recent conversations in the app. It is a small start and really, it makes a lot of sense for Facebook to do this, like it or not. Facebook Messenger has over a billion users per month which makes it an ideal platform to surface ads.
In a blog post on the WhatsApp site, the company has announced that they are rolling out their service and app free-of-charge going forward. The Facebook owned instant messaging service has nearly a billion subscribers and while the entry price of .99 Cents was not much, the company wanted to eliminate the fee all together so those without access to credit cards can access the service.
Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we’ll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.
It is an interesting move and one that will surely heat up the instant messaging battle that is going on in the market.
The roll out of the total free WhatsApp service will be taking place over the course of the next few weeks. Users on Android and iOS can expect an app update to be coming over the course of that time to support the new free model.
The Facebook for Android app has been updated today, bringing with it several new features including the ability to Like posts, photos and Pages even when you are offline. The update, version 18.104.22.168.15 for those keeping score at home, is available now in the Google Play store and of course is free. There are several new features in this release so it is certainly one to go get.
The Facebook Messenger app for Windows Phone has received an update that brings significant performance improvements along with the ability to message people using their mobile numbers from within the app. The update, version 22.214.171.124 for those keeping score at home, is the latest evolution in the Messenger app where Facebook wants to be your one-stop shop for messaging friends on the social network as well as those not on it. The browser war may be over but the messenger war rages on between Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype and others.
Microsoft today sent an email to all Outlook.com customers that Facebook Messenger and Google Chat integration with the web-based email service is no longer available. The email outlines that in the next couple of weeks that users will no longer be able to have instant message sessions from Outlook.com to these other services. While no specifics are given on why Facebook Messenger integration is going away, Microsoft was quite clear that the reason Google Chat integration is going away is due to a decision by Google to discontinue the chat protocol.
If you have your own Facebook pages or manage one for your company, the app you need to manage them has just been updated. FB Pages Manager for Windows Phone has been updated with several new features to bring it up-to-date with the web based pages manager from Facebook themselves. The new update, version 2.0 for those keeping score at home, brings new enhancements such as being able to see scheduled posts and Events all from your device without having to go to the Facebook Pages website itself (which can be clunky on a Windows Phone). The update impacts both the free version of the app as well as the Pro version. The difference between free and Pro is the adverts within the app, Insights to see how your page is doing and the photo management. The app is also as close a universal app as we have in Windows these days so when you buy the Pro version you also have access to the Windows 8.1 version of the app for free (or vise versa).
The official Facebook for Windows Phone app has been updated today with several improvements and fixes for the social network app. The update, version 126.96.36.199 for those keeping score at home, brings improvements to almost every area of the app which should create a better, more consistent user experience.
The official Facebook for Windows Phone app has been updated with a minor release today, bringing performance improvements and other minor fixes to the app. For those keeping score, it is version 188.8.131.52 and it is available now in the Windows Phone Store.
The majority of the big updates to Facebook for Windows Phone came with v8.3 and the minor dot updates have generally focused on app performance improvements and bug fixes. What that means is if you are looking for something new & exciting in the app… well, keep looking peeps. There’s nothing to see here.
That said, the app does seem a bit faster than the previous build in my non-scientific “yep, looks faster” playing with the app this morning. Likewise, I was not impacted by any issues on the app so what bug fixes are in this update are a bit of a mystery to me.
Facebook for Windows Phone is free and available in the Windows Phone Store now. You will need a Facebook account in order to use the app.