Facebook Addresses 'Home' Privacy Concerns
Facebook posted information on its support site Friday in order to quell some fears that its new Facebook Home application would invade users' privacy. According to Facebook, Facebook Home does not use location data any differently than the full Facebook app does, and Android device users always have the option to turn location services off. Facebook Home will not collect any user data from apps that interact with the service, such as SMS messages. Facebook Home will, however, "maintain a list of the apps ... in the Home app launcher ... in identifiable form for 90 days and use it to provide the service and improve how it works." After 90 days, the identifying data is stripped out. Last, Facebook notes that the application is entirely voluntary, and does not need to be used in order to access the regular Facebook app. Facebook Home can be turned on or off at any time.
Facebook Releases 'Lite' App for Android Phones
Facebook today announced Facebook Lite, a version of the social network that uses less data and will work on less-robust network connections. The Facebook Lite app is just 1MB to install, and Facebook claims it loads quickly and offers core features, such as News Feed, status updates, photos, and notifications.
Facebook Messenger No Longer Requires Facebook Account
Facebook said beginning today people do not have to have a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger. When first loading the app, users will have the option of signing in with a phone number rather than their Facebook account.
Facebook Messenger Brings SMS Back to Android App
Facebook today said Facebook Messenger users will once again be able to send SMS messages — as long as they're running Android. Essentially, Android users can set Messenger as the default SMS app, which will route all SMS messages and conversations through Messenger rather than any other SMS apps that may be installed on the device.
Facebook Home Seemingly Abandoned
Facebook has disbanded the team that developed Facebook Home, its replacement home screen for Android devices. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the New York Times reports engineers assigned to Facebook Home have been reassigned to other departments within the company.