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Facebook Rolls Out Simplified Version of Messenger

To help users get used to changes, Facebook said it would roll out Messenger 4 in phases

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This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

In a move to declutter Messenger, Facebook has started rolling out a new version of the text and video chap app — Messenger 4 that brings down the number of tabs from nine to three.

“Messenger 4 will gradually roll out globally over the coming weeks,” Stan Chudnovsky, Vice President of Messenger, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The “Chats” tab includes the conversations — both one-to-one and groups. Messenger 4 will have visual communication features like camera at the top so that users can easily capture and share selfies.

Tapping into Messenger 4’s “People” tab will help its 1.3 billion monthly users find friends, catch up on people’s Stories, and see everyone who is active at that time.

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Facebook introduces simplified version of Messenger. Pixabay

Then it has the “Discover” tab, where one can connect with businesses to get the latest deals, play games, book their next vacation, follow the news and more.

“Messenger 4 has another way to personalise your conversations with a small but delightful update to chat customisations called colour gradients. With this feature, you can now use multiple colours to customise your chat bubbles in conversations,” Chudnovsky said.

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To help users get used to changes, Facebook said it would roll out Messenger 4 in phases.

“We have a handful of new features we’re planning to introduce in the near future, like Dark Mode, a re-skinned interface that cuts down on the glare from your phone,” Chudnovsky said. (IANS)

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Snap Help US Anti-Trust Agency Into Facebook’s Business Practices

Facebook competitors like Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant's business practices

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Snapchat, Facebook, Anti-trust agency, agency, probe
Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant's business practices. Pixabay

Some Facebook competitors like Snap are reportedly helping the US FTC as it launches an anti-trust investigation into the social networking giant’s business practices.

According to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday, Snap which is the parent company of Snapchat, has created a dossier under “Project Voldemort” that apparently contains Facebook secrets.

“The files in ‘Project Voldemort’ chronicled Facebook’s moves that threatened to undermine Snap’s business, including discouraging popular account holders, or influencers, from referencing Snap on their Instagram accounts,” the report claimed.

Snap and Facebook share a bitter history, with the latter copying several of Snapchat-first features into its Instagram and other products.

From launching “Camera Effects Platform” to encourage augmented reality (AR) effects — a move reported by The New York Times as Facebook’s “brazen heist” over Snapchat – to adding Snapchat-style “Stories” and camera special effects in all its core social apps: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, The Mark Zuckerberg-run company has done it all.

It is Snapchat which has popularised animated AR selfie masks and facial filters.

Facebook has also added Geostickers to Instagram, offering location-specific tags in two cities (New York City and Jakarta) that users can paste over images. Snapchat launched Geofilters back in 2014.

Snapchat, Facebook, Anti-trust agency, agency, probe
In a historic judgment, the US FTC in July slapped a massive $5 billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Pixabay

Originally launched by Snapchat, the “Stories” feature shows photos and videos shared in chronological order that disappear after 24 hours.

Facebook introduced something similar in its app Instagram.

Today, Messenger, WhatsApp and the main Facebook app have all added “Stories” feature (In WhatsApp, it is called ‘Status’).

According to the WSJ, the FTC has made contact with dozens of tech executives and app developers.

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In a historic judgment, the US FTC in July slapped a massive $5 billion fine on Facebook over users’ privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, along with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directing the social networking platform to pay $100 million penalty for making misleading disclosures regarding the risk of misuse of user data.
Democrat Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon is even demanding jail term for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he should face serious consequences for letting his social media platform misuse consumers’ personal data. (IANS)