Facebook Tuesday began testing a completely revamped version of its Messenger for Android application that allows users to instantly see which friends are currently using Messenger, and to send text messages via the app to friends or non-Facebook-using contacts who aren’t using it.
Voice and messaging may be coming to more applications on Facebook and elsewhere on the mobile Web as cloud communications provider Twilio announced at its third annual TwilioCon in San Francisco that it updated its Cloud Code Module for Facebook-owned cloud-app platform Parse with an eye toward enabling developers to move in that direction.
Facebook’s white hat program dished out another reward, as U.K.-based application security engineer Jack Whitton received $20,000 for alerting the social network about a bug that allowed him to take over other users’ Facebook accounts via text message.
While the Facebook applications for iOS and Android are updated with regularity, BlackBerry doesn’t get the same love. The company announced Thursday that the Facebook and Twitter apps for the BlackBerry 10 phone were updated. Now the Facebook app has the technology to let you know if friends are nearby, as well as better photo and event features.
Facebook has been trying to bring new features into its stand-alone Messenger application, first with voice-over-Internet-protocol calling, but now it appears that the social network is trying to replicate another vital cell-phone function: texting. Some users with the Android version of Facebook Messenger were prompted Tuesday to import their text messages, with the ability to send and receive SMS messages added to the app.
When Facebook announced plans to go public, two of the most prominent concerns raised about the social network were its ability to monetize mobile and its prospects for growth in Asia. The deal it reached with Myriad Group, announced Wednesday, took aim at both of those concerns.
Two topics that have been top-of-mind at Facebook the past few weeks, mobile and security, were combined in the social network’s announcement Thursday of three mobile security updates: code generator, the ability to report unwanted content, and improved mobile recovery flows.
London-based Magister Advisors, an advisory firm that helps technology and Internet firms exit markets at the highest value, pointed out an industry that will be negatively impacted by Facebook’s upcoming initial public offering: mobile phone operators.
Facebook disputed a report by London’s Sunday Times that it was reading users’ text messages to assist it with testing to eventually launch its own messaging service, saying that it was running a limited test, text messages were not read, and it was not necessarily working on a messaging service.