After mostly letting it sit stagnant for nearly two years, Instagram is ready to show its Direct messaging feature some love. Instagram Direct, which lets you share photos, videos, and messages privately with other Instagram users, was seen as a play at Snapchat and similar apps when it launched in 2013, but it’s so far experienced limited appeal within the photo sharing app. Now Instagram hopes to change that with new features including message threads, giant emoji, sharing from your timeline, and more. expand full story
Messaging ▪ September 1
Messaging ▪ August 19
The highly popular WhatsApp messaging service owned by Facebook appears to be adding a new feature that allows iPhone users to chat in the browser using a web app. The feature is called WhatsApp Web and became available on various platforms including Android and Windows Phone earlier this year, but the feature was absent for iPhone users at the time “due to Apple platform limitations.” Using the chat service on the web requires running WhatsApp on a corresponding smartphone. expand full story
Messaging ▪ April 15
Glide, the app that lets users send live video messages, today becomes the first to bring the feature to Apple Watch. With an update to Glide’s iOS app, users of Apple Watch will be able to receive live videos messages right on their wrist, although it’s a one-way experience for Apple Watch as the device doesn’t yet include a camera; your responses will be limited to text. expand full story
Messaging ▪ April 1
Messaging ▪ January 14
Microsoft is rolling out a new version of Skype for iPhone today, version 5.9, which brings enhancements to the user interface making communicating faster and easier. The latest version adds contact suggestions to the dial pad when entering a number making the process of finding the right person to dial quicker. The update also adds shortcuts for starting video or audio calls from Skype’s chat picker window.
In addition to introducing the latest Skype for iPhone user interface improvements, Microsoft announced a limited pre-release program for testing early versions of Skype in exchange for sharing feedback and ideas… expand full story
Messaging ▪ January 12
For several months we’ve followed the U.S. government’s attempts to work around encryption in chat apps, even taking the hyperbole to an illogical extreme at one point, but we haven’t yet seen similar threats from other nations… or at least, we hadn’t until today.
British prime minister David Cameron said today that unless the government is given backdoor access to encrypted messaging services, he’s just going to outlaw them: