Signal Private Messenger Gets Much-Requested ‘Disappearing Messages’ Feature

Signal Private Messenger Gets Much-Requested 'Disappearing Messages' Feature


  • Company says feature will help in keeping chat history tidy
  • Feature not introduced with aim to improve privacy
  • Timer available from 5-seconds to one week

When Google launched its text-messaging app Allo last month, it received criticism from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for the lack of privacy offered by the app. He instead suggested people to use messaging apps like Signal, which use end-to-end encryption for all messages. This of course was not the first time that Snowden endorsed Signal, and it has gained quite a solid reputation for user privacy. Now, the app has added the Disappearing Messages feature that allows users to send ephemeral messages that self-destruct after a set duration.

Disappearing Messages feature lets you send the messages through the app that can be tagged with a timer ranging from 5 seconds to one week.

“With this update, any conversation can be configured to delete sent and received messages after a specified interval. The configuration applies to all parties of a conversation, and the clock starts ticking for each recipient once they’ve read their copy of the message,” Open Whisper Systems said on its website.

The update is already available for Android, iOS, and desktop versions of the app. Open Whisper Systems has clarified that Disappearing Messages have been introduced to ensure tidiness of the chat conversations and not for security.The company specifically points out that this feature is not meant for the situations where the contact that you are sending your messages to, is your adversary. This is because the recipient can always click a picture of the message before it disappears from the screen.

The update also brings along support for Signal Protocol’s numeric fingerprint format, which are called “safety numbers” in Signal. The safety numbers can be verified by scanning a QR code or by reading a string aloud.

Tags: Signal, Apps, Android, Apple, Social, User Privacy, Signal Update, Open Whisper Systems

Facebook Messenger App Adds Data Saver Option to Help You Save Mobile Data

Facebook Messenger App Adds Data Saver Option to Help You Save Mobile Data


  • The feature is currently available only on Android
  • Data Saver allows you to manually download images and videos
  • App automatically downloads images and videos on Wi-Fi

Following the lead of many other apps, Facebook’s Messenger app has now been updated to include the data saver options to help users save cellular data. Many browsers have had these options for a while, and recently, companies like Google and Shazam announced several optimisations to their apps to provide improved services in countries where connectivity is an issue.

As of now, the data saver option seems to have been just added to the Android version of the Facebook Messenger. However, as the feature is in a testing phase, we will have to wait and see if it eventually makes way to iOS or not.

The data saver option, as implemented by Facebook Messenger, essentially allows the users to manually download the images and videos that are sent to the users instead of the app downloading them automatically. In order to enable the option, you need to head to the account settings menu of the Messenger app and tap on Data Saver. Then you need to toggle-on the option with the same name. The app also updates you about the estimated mobile data saved from the feature.

When you are connected to a Wi-Fi network, the app will automatically download videos and pictures. The data saver option will help users use their cellular data more effectively and will likely prove to be cost-efficient.Earlier this month, Facebook rolled out option to enable end-to-end encryption on Messenger conversations. This update provides similar user privacy as available on company’s WhatsApp messaging service and was introduced to provide additional privacy to Messenger users. However, unlike WhatsApp, Messenger users are required to manually choose end-to-end encryption for every new conversation.

Tags: Facebook Messenger Data Saver, Messenger App, Cellular Data Saving, Apps, Social, Android

Facebook Messenger Testing ‘Conversation Topics’ You Can Talk About

Facebook Messenger Testing 'Conversation Topics' You Can Talk About


  • Feature suggests topics on the basis of friends’ activities
  • Feature has been named “Conversation Topics”
  • Messenger app on Android recently introduced data saver option

Facebook Messenger has introduced a new feature called “Conversation Topics”, which is likely to be a conversation topic in itself. As the name suggests, this new feature essentially suggests topics for conversation to the app users. These topics are recommended to users on the basis of their friends’ recent activities.

The feature was first spotted by Twitter user Chris Messina, as pointed out by TechCrunch, on iOS platform. The app shows you the various activities performed by your friends in order to provide you with a topic to talk about. The recommendations reportedly have their own section on the home screen and show you the activities beneath your friends’ names.

The activities range from the places your friends visited, to the songs that they listened to. At this point, this feature seems to be in a test phase as the company has not announced it and it is not showing up for everyone.

Even though it is highly debatable if the social networking sites, with their new features, are helping people get in touch or making them less social, this update will definitely keep you informed about your friends’ activities.Facebook Messenger recently added ‘data saver’ option to its app on Android, which allows the users to manually download the images and videos that are sent to them, instead of the app downloading them automatically.

Tags: Facebook Messenger Update, Conversation Topics, Apps, Social, Apple

Facebook Messenger Lite Takes Up Less Phone Space for Tech Challenged Areas


Small businesses and others seeking a better way to communicate with customers or partners in tech challenged areas should rejoice.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has launched lighter version of its Android Messenger app. The new bare-bones Messenger app is designed for people in areas with slow internet connections as well as for older phones with less powerful processors and less memory.

Introducing the Facebook Messenger Lite App

The new Facebook Messenger Lite allows you to send stickers, photos, links and text to anyone using Messenger or Messenger Lite.

“More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability,” said the Engineering Manager for Messenger Lite Tom Mulcahy in a blog post. “With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to.”

Tom also adds that the app is fast and easy to download as it’s under 10MB.

Like Facebook Messenger, Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo, but with reversed colors. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background while for Facebook Messenger, the bolt is white with a blue chat bubble background.

The new Messenger Lite is already rolling out to people in Malaysia, Kenya, Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Tom says that they will soon be rolling the app in other countries in the coming months.

This should come as good news for businesses that use Messenger as a means to communicate with their clients. You can now be able to upload real-time photos and links regardless of the Internet speeds or the speed of your phone.

While Facebook is quite clear on what you can do with the “Lite” version, they are not so clear on what you will not get but don’t get surprised if you can’t find features certain features.

Facebook also doesn’t disclose whether there will be a similar app for iOS. They are, however, clear that they chose markets with a “prevalence of basic Android smartphones.”

Young Mobile Users in Kenya Photo Via Shutterstock