Beluga to Shut Down Stand-Alone Service on Dec. 15
Beluga has announced that it will cease offering its independent Facebook messaging application by December 15. Beluga was purchased by Facebook earlier this year, and its technology was incorporated into the native Facebook messaging applications for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS devices. Given the permeation of the application across today's most popular smartphone platforms, Beluga feels the stand-alone app is no longer necessary. Starting November 11, Beluga users will no longer be able to send new messages, though they will be able to retrieve their old messages and download them if they wish. The service will shutter entirely on December 15.
Skype Debuts Qik Video Messaging App
Skype today announced a new video messaging app called Qik. The service, explains Skype, is to give smartphone users a fun way to interact with others and maintain conversations that have more personality than standard text messages or video calls.
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 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 Aims to Simplify Connecting with Others Via Messenger
Facebook is adding several tools to its Messenger service with the the goal of making it easier to begin conversations with others. To start, the company is rolling out Messenger Codes, which allows people to scan one another's code and begin chatting.
Beluga will now be selling ringtones instead