Messaging & Bot War

By Hoan Do | Cyber-war of Messaging Apps and Bots

WhatsApp reportedly testing anti-chain letter spam warning

WhatsApp appears to be testing a new feature aimed at trying to limit the spread of chain letter style spam messages and tackle viral fakes spreading on its platform.<p>Two WhatsApp blog sites, Whatsappen.nl and WABetaInfo, report spotting notification messages in the app which appear intended to …

Viral

WhatsApp launches a separate app for small businesses

Only on Android for now<p>WhatsApp has launched a separate app designed for use by small businesses to more easily connect with customers. WhatsApp Business adds key features like dedicated business profiles for details like email address, business description, store addresses, and website; smart …

Apps

Slack tests private shared channels for companies to share secrets

Slack today announced several new features coming to its new shared channels, including the ability to make them private.<p>Shared channels, currently in beta, are channels which can exist on two different Slack workspaces, enabling different organizations to work together. The new update adds private …

Collaboration

Instagram now tells everyone when you’re active, here’s how to hide it

Another day, another feature nobody asked for. Facebook subsidiary Instagram has now enabled activity status in direct messages: this means that practically all of your friends will now be able to see when the last time you were actively using the app was.<p>The feature rolled out as part of the …

Instagram

WhatsApp Business finally rolls out for Android — and it’s totally free (for now)

After years of waiting and limited trials, businesses finally have their own WhatsApp solution. The company today launched the simply-named WhatsApp Business, available on Android devices as a free download.<p>The app provides some of the basic functionality you’d want from a business app. You can …

Apps

Skype finally gets end-to-end encryption, thanks to Signal

Microsoft has partnered with Signal, the secure messaging app that counts whistleblower Edward Snowden among its fans, to add end-to-encryption to Skype.<p>That means that all your chat, files and audio messages will be securely transmitted through the service, and they’ll only be readable to you and …

Encryption

Duo calls can now be made with some users that don't have it installed, Allo chats also improved

Google recently began rolling out a slightly updated look to the contact list on the Duo video calling app. Alongside this fun rearrangement of …

Google

Hike Messenger launches Hike ID; now chat without sharing phone number

In a bid to offer more privacy controls to its users, homegrown Hike Messenger has announced the launch of Hike ID. The unique Hike ID will remove …

iOS

Google exec confirms 'group calling' and other updates are coming to Google Duo

Duo, Google’s video calling app, might be getting new features through an upcoming update.<p>Yes<p>— Justin Uberti (@juberti) January 9, 2018<p>Justin Uberti, …

Google

Google launches a new directory to help you discover Assistant action

Google says that you can now perform more than a million actions with the Google Assistant. Those range from looking up photos with Google Photos to starting a meditation session from Headspace. But one problem with voice assistants is that it’s very hard to discover what actions you can actually …

Google

Facebook brings Messenger Kids to Fire tablets

Messenger Kids, Facebook’s new app designed to allow those under the age of 13 to more safely communicate thanks to parental controls, is today launching on Fire tablets. The service had originally debuted on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch in early December, but today’s launch will also see it arrive …

Social Media

YouTube’s in-app messaging and Community tab will make their way to YouTube TV, YouTube Music

YouTube is aiming to bring its set of social features, including the in-app messaging system and “Community” tab for creators, to its wider suite of apps. Specifically, the company is interested in porting those features to its YouTube TV app aimed at cord cutters, as well as its Music app.<p>The …

YouTube

Luxury Brands Swarm Into WeChat’s Brand Zone

WeChat has made a fundamental change to the way it works.<p>China’s most popular social media app has always limited its posts’ visibility to the …

Louis Vuitton

Chat app Line is reportedly considering its own cryptocurrency

Tickets please, the next crypto train is about to depart. Japan-based messaging app Line is said to be the latest public company to consider a move into the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, according to a Bloomberg report.<p>Unlike some of the more obscure and head-scratching moves, which include …

Bitcoin

Amit Fulay, head of Allo and Duo for Google departs for Facebook

After spending the last 7.5 years at Google, Amit Fulay, most recently Head of Product for Google Allo and Google Duo, has left the search giant for Facebook…<p>This morning, Fulay announced on his Twitter that he’s departing the Mountain View company effective immediately. In his bio on the social …

Google

Facebook is shuttering M, its personal assistant aided by AI and humans

Facebook is killing a buzzy version of its personal assistant “M,” which was powered by artificial intelligence and real-life humans. The service, which helped people set up appointments and buy things, was available through a Messenger bot—but only to about 2,000 in California people throughout …

Artificial Intelligence

Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO for chat cryptocurrency

Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources which have spoken to TechCrunch, the “Telegram Open Network” (TON) will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain …

Bitcoin

WhatsApp users sent a record-breaking 75 billion messages on New Years Eve

Popular chat app WhatsApp achieved a new milestone this past New Years Eve.On Sunday, WhatsApp users sent more than 75 billion messages. That …

New Year's Eve

Instagram now lets you send its Snapchat-inspired 'Stories' directly to WhatsApp

INSTAGRAM fans desperate to share their snaps with friends are about to be treated to a new feature.<p>The app is now testing a way to share Stories on …

Rita Ora

This is why you shouldn't swipe up to close WhatsApp on your phone

So you've left your charger at home and have a whole day of work ahead of you? Not ideal. But no worries: just double tap your home button and swipe up at some unnecessary background apps that are draining too much energy.<p>Except you might want to leave one of those little icons well alone.<p>According …

WhatsApp: New feature will let users respond to group chat messages privately

WhatsApp has created a new messaging option called Reply Privately.<p>It’s built for group conversations and, as its name suggests, allows you to …

WhatsApp’s new feature forces group members to become silent spectators

WhatsApp is rolling out a new feature which will prevent members of a group, other than the admin, from sending any new messages.As reported by <i>The</i> …

Pakistan

Instagram now lets you share live videos through direct messages

Instagram has been steadily beefing up its Direct Messaging feature in recent months, as it has begun to toy with the idea of spinning out messaging into its own, separate app. Among its more recent tweaks was last month’s added option for photo and video message replays, and earlier enhancements …

Social Media

Facebook is introducing new tools to help curb harassment

You can now read messages without the sender knowing<p>Today, Facebook announced it is introducing new tools aimed at preventing harassment on Facebook and Messenger. The tools have been created based on feedback both from users and organizations for groups that experience higher levels of harassment …

Disability

Line adds unsend for recalling missent messages

Messaging platform Line has added the ability for users to retrieve messages they’ve sent in error.<p>The unsend feature, which has been added via an update out today, gives users a 24 hour window for unsending missives — so it’s considerably more generous than the unsend option rival platform …

Google Chrome

Click-to-WhatsApp messaging buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads

WhatsApp has always said that it has no plans to put ads into its own app, but this is not stopping Facebook, which now owns WhatsApp, from figuring out other ways of monetizing the hugely popular messaging service. Today, Facebook is launching a new ad unit that will let businesses create a link …

Facebook

Messenger’s 2017 Year in Review

<i>By Sean Kelly, Product Management Director, Messenger</i><p>Over the holidays we all want to take time to celebrate, reflect and stay in touch with the …

Chatbots

The “revolutionary” new feature in WeChat is actually quite mundane

In China, you can use WeChat for just about everything from sending messages to grabbing a taxi to getting your laundry done. Owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, WeChat is a smartphone Swiss army knife of sorts, and it’s on the path to becoming the one and only app users will ever need.<p>A new …

Apps

Facebook adds support for live streaming and video chats to Messenger games

Last November, Facebook launched Instant Games, a new platform for gaming with friends inside the Messenger chat app. Today, the company is announcing a couple of notable new features for this gaming platform, including support for live streaming via Facebook Live and video chatting with fellow …