Report: Facebook Messenger to Offer “Secret Conversations,” In-Store Purchase Feature

According to code buried within the Messenger app from Facebook, new features may soon be available that will lead to a more secure chatting experience for users. As detailed by The Information, secret conversations, which is likely a reference to encrypted messaging, would allow users to chat a bit more privately, a feature that is currently available to users of WhatsApp. (more…)

WhatsApp Ditches Subscription Model, Now 100% Free

WhatsApp, the global messaging phenomenon, announced today that it will no longer charge subscription fees for use of its apps. That means WhatsApp will be 100% free going forward.

In the past, WhatsApp was free to most for the first year of service after sign-up. Once that year long period ended, you needed to pay a $0.99 annual subscription to keep the service going. That’s going away because many of WhatsApp’s users don’t have a credit card and the company is afraid that they’ll lose these users who can’t pay the $1 per year to keep it going.  (more…)

Report: Google Working on Messaging Service to Rival Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp

Reported by the Wall Street JournalGoogle is working on a brand new messaging service, one to rival Facebook Messenger, Skype, and WhatsApp. If true, it would appear Google is not completely satisfied with its Hangouts offering, but what would differentiate Mountain View’s newly rumored messaging service from the already existing Hangouts?

Stated by sources familiar with the matter, Google is looking incorporate its artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbot technology into it, allowing users to ask questions from within the app, receiving answers from the web. This reminds me heavily of AIM’s SmarterChild bot, which utilized AI-esque technology to return answers based on questions you would ask.  (more…)