When Facebook first started deploying its Messenger Lite late last year, the social media giant had intended to roll it out to developing nations, especially those with below average Internet speeds. But after about a year since it debuted the mobile app in over a hundred countries, the company is now looking to launch the Android version of Messenger Lite to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
According to Nick Fox, the vice president of Communications Products at Google, US wireless carrier Sprint and Canadian mobile operator Rogers Communications have completed the first ever cross carrier Rich Communications Service (RCS) interconnection in the North American continent. Fox had made the announcement by way of a recent tweet last week.
The chat messaging platform of the world’s biggest social media network is truly on a roll. Facebook has recently revealed that its Messenger mobile app now regularly attracts 1.2 billion active users on a monthly basis. Some may remember that back in July of last year, the app had breached the 1 billionth monthly active user mark.
TechCrunch has gotten a tip that Facebook’s Messenger is now displaying Reactions options for some users. For example, when hovering over messages sent by friends via a chat conversation, one can tap the emoji button to select reactions like a thumbs up Like, a LOL or sad smiley, an angry emoji, and even a thumbs down Dislike. Every user who is part of that thread will then be able to see the reaction.
Two of the biggest names in telecommunications in the European continent -- Deutsche Telekom -- have extended their official support for Google’s RCS (Rich Communications Service) messaging service, as did Globe, a top mobile operator in the Philippines. The plan is that these carriers will preinstall Android Messages (the new rebranded version of Messenger for Android) as the default native messaging app for their respective mobile users.
Google has managed to convince mobile operator Telenor to team up with the tech giant in pursuing its Rich Communications Services (RCS) related efforts. For those not familiar with RCS, this is a new messaging tech envisioned to bring a more enriched messaging experience to mobile users, mostly by allowing iMessage style functionalities like group chatting, read receipt features, and sharing of high resolution images.
In an effort to make navigation much easier for its users, Snapchat has just launched a universal search bar in its interface. This new universal search bar is easily (and always) accessible at the top section of the mobile app, and people can easily make use of it when searching for friends, groups, Discover publishers, and Our Stories. This latest feature from the messaging giant is now currently being deployed to select Android mobile devices, and it should start arriving at iOS mobile devices as well any day now.
Facebook’s Messenger is launching a new group video chat feature that will basically allow up to six people to appear in split screen conversing in real time to one another. On top of that, this new capability will also let users incorporate selfie masks (a la Snapchat). Moreover, a maximum of 50 people will be able to listen and talk over voice, and also make use of text messages, stickers, emoji, and animated GIFs.
Rogers Communications, a mobile operator based in Canada, just became the second major carrier to join in on the Rich Communications Service (RCS) messaging fun. The first to do so of course was major US wireless carrier Sprint, which launched its support for Google’s RCS on its Android powered handsets about a month ago. For those not familiar with RCS, it is a specific messaging standard that integrates features such as group chats, sharing of high resolution images, and more into the usual SMS experience.
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