Connect with us

Tech News

Facebook Messenger Rooms released to beat Zoom at group video chat

Published

on

Facebook released free-to-use Messenger Rooms, allowing multiple people to do video chat in a single array of windows at one time. Using this platform is relatively simple if all users already have a Facebook account and/or a Facebook Messenger account, allowing a potentially quick adoption by masses of users in the very near future. This is clearly Facebook’s as-fast-as-possible reaction to the sweeping popularity of systems like Zoom – and other video chatroom platforms – in the wake of COVID-19, global pandemic, and remote working during quarantine.

Facebook Messenger Rooms released

Users will be able to use Facebook Messenger Rooms as of this afternoon. If you’re using a version of Facebook that does not have a “Create a Room” button in Messenger, update your app. Users will be able to create a Facebook Messenger Room and invite “anyone” to join a video call, “even if they don’t have a Facebook account.”

At launch, rooms may be limited ever-so-slightly, but “rooms will soon hold up to 50 people with no time limit for “free” service. Of course nothing is ever really “free”.

Facebook suggests that they’ll never listen to or look at you in a video chat. Specifically, Facebook said, “Regardless of whether you use Rooms through your Facebook account or join as a guest, we don’t watch or listen to your audio or video calls.”

However, Facebook does collect data from you. “As with other parts of Facebook, we collect data from Rooms regardless of whether you joined through one of our apps or without logging into an account,” wrote a Facebook representative.

“The main purpose of this data is to provide the service and improve the product experience,” wrote a Facebook representative this afternoon. “As with other Messenger features though, audio and video from Rooms won’t be used to inform ads. And, we don’t show ads in Rooms.”

And a bit more on massiveness

Facebook revealed several data points in introducing the world to Facebook Messenger Rooms. They suggested that “between WhatsApp and Messenger”, they’ve seen “more than 700 million accounts participate in calls every day.” They did not specify the date for this data, so we must assume it’s just their most recent count, averaged, here in April of 2020. They also suggested that “lately” they’ve “felt the demand for real-time video.”

Included in that “lately” frame of reference, a Facebook representative suggested that “in many countries, video calling on Messenger and WhatsApp more than doubled, and views of Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos increased significantly in March.”

They’ve also revealed that this might well be the way in which Facebook’s messaging system integrates with WhatsApp and Instagramwith WhatsApp and Instagram. “Soon we’ll add ways to create rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp, and Portal, too.” They’ll integrate the systems so gradually, it’ll be like you don’t even remember them ever having been different services.

Continue Reading

Tech News

The First Tesla Semi Has Been Delivered After Lengthy Delays

Published

on

There had long been suggestion Pepsi would be one of Tesla’s biggest customers — with a subsidiary spotted installing charging stations at one of its plants and test driving the trucks earlier this year. Tesla also placed an order for 100 of the high tech trucks shortly after they were announced in 2017. In October, Musk confirmed the company’s first truck was almost ready for delivery, and it would be going to the soft drink manufacturer.

Today, Tesla finally made it official and delivered its first production semis to Pepsi. Speaking at the handover, which took place at a Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada, Musk described his motivation for designing the truck. The Tesla CEO claims that trucks make up less than 1% of vehicles in the United States, but are responsible for a large chunk of emissions. Musk said it will both help the environment and improve the health of individuals living near highways. At the end of the presentation, Musk thanked Pepsico and described them as a “great partner.” 

The trucks’ keycards were then handed over to Pepsi’s representatives, followed by several high fives. The trucks’ first cargo run involved “an enormous amount of Frito Lays” which were handed out to people in attendance. Pepsi’s Kirk Tanner then took the mic and said: “I want to thank the people who have spent countless hours to make this a reality.” before thanking Elon Musk and the other Tesla representatives. Other companies are also interested in Tesla’s electric semi. Budweiser, Walmart, and UPS are amongst those who have placed pre-orders — with Budweiser ordering at least 40 of the large electric vehicles.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Kanye West Is No Longer Buying Twitter-Rival Parler

Published

on

It’s unclear whether West’s recent controversies have anything to do with the Parler deal falling apart. In a statement shared with CNBC, Parler’s owner notes that the “decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November.” Parler says it will be on the lookout for the growth opportunities, without clarifying if it was looking for investors to scale up, or full-fledged buyers. The latter seems unlikely to happen, given the current state of layoffs in the tech industry and the looming fears of a recession.

Parlement Technologies reportedly had high hopes from its acquisition deal with Kanye West. Soon after the agreement press release went out, Parler sent out an email to its “VIP” users, offering them perks like a gold badge for being valuable personalities on the platform. Politico reports that the email campaign inadvertently revealed the personal contact information of nearly a dozen lawmakers and some well-known conservative personalities.

Citing an insider source, Axios reports that West’s unstable financial situation following the cancellation of lucrative deals with the likes of Adidas played a role in his Parler plans falling apart. In the meanwhile, West has returned to Twitter, after his account was restricted for a few weeks ago over sharing anti-Semitic remarks. West currently has a huge follower base of over 18 million on Twitter, which dwarfs the total number of users on Parler, as of December 2021.

Continue Reading

Tech News

Elon Musk Says Twitter’s Potential Removal From iOS App Store Was ‘Misunderstanding’

Published

on

Barely two days after Elon Musk feuded with Apple publicly, he met with Tim Cook to settle the differences. “We resolved the misunderstanding about Twitter potentially being removed from the App Store. Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so,” Elon Musk tweeted last evening. This was a few hours after he shared a video of Apple’s HQ to disclose the location of the meeting.

However, Elon Musk didn’t reveal if Apple will continue advertising on Twitter. According to the Washington Post, Apple was the biggest ad spender on Twitter in Q1 2022. It spent an average of $4 million per week to run ads on Twitter between January to March this year — this added up to about 4% of Twitter’s revenue. However, Reuters reports that Apple reduced its weekly ad budget on Twitter to $131,600 a few weeks after Elon Musk bought the social media company. We also haven’t heard from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, about the agenda of his meeting with Elon Musk. 

Continue Reading

Trending