Saturday 5 January 2013

Facebook Pages Manager app now on Android

Facbook page admins can head over to the Google Play store, for the Facebook Pages Manager app for Android users is finally here. The app allows Facebook Page admins to connect with their audiences and keep up with activity on several other Pages.

The app allows Page admins to post new updates and photos, and reply to comments on their Pages. They can also view and reply to private messages sent to their Page. Admins can get notifications about new activity on their pages, and can also view their latest page insights. To be able to use the app, users will require Android devices running v2.2 and above.

Facebook is has been increasing its focus on apps for smartphones. The social network is currently testing VoIP and voice messaging features for its Messenger app in select parts of the world. Using a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection, Facebook users in Canada can now make free calls using the messenger service on iOS.

The VoIP service is currently rolling out only to Canadian iPhone users, but if the tests go well, this feature could roll out on Facebook Messenger for Android for users globally as well. To make a call using this feature, users need to hit the ‘i’ button and then choose ‘Free Call.’ To try this out, users will need to update their app and use a Wi-Fi connection or their existing data plans.

While Facebook users in Canada will be able to actually hold a real-time, phone-like conversation, users across the world will have a new feature in the Messenger app wherein they will be able to record short voice messages to send to their friends.  To send a voice message, users need to click on the ‘i’ button and hit record.

While the voice mail-like feature seems to be a nice way to say 'hello' to friends, the bigger question is, why is Facebook adding such features so late in the day when they are so freely available with VoIP apps like Skype? Only Zuckerberg might know the answer to that, but considering its past activities, it seems like Facebook wants to make use of its massive user base to step into other channels.

For instance, the social network tweaked its Messenger for Android to embrace users that weren't a part of the social networking site. Armed with only a phone number and a name, anyone can use Facebook Messenger to contact friends both on and off Facebook using the Messenger App. Once the Facebook Call over VoIP function is expanded to Android, the number of users taking advantage of the free call function will be immensely larger.

Adding a call and voice message function is one of the many changes Facebook seems to be incorporating in their apps since the past few months. Besides opening up Android Messenger to all, Facebook has also launched Poke, a self-destructing message app that's similar to Snapchat.

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