BGR: Sadly, you now need a Facebook account to start using Facebook Messenger

BGR: Sadly, you now need a Facebook account to start using Facebook Messenger. “A few years ago, Facebook made it possible for new Messenger users to start talking to their friends and family without registering for Facebook. That was actually a great way to stay off Facebook for anyone not happy with the intrusiveness of the world’s biggest social network, without giving up one of the best things about Facebook. Going forward, however, new Facebook Messenger users will have to register for a Facebook account to actually use the chat service.”

TechCrunch: Facebook’s Messenger adds Star Wars-themed features and AR effects

TechCrunch: Facebook’s Messenger adds Star Wars-themed features and AR effects. “Star Wars has come to Facebook’s Messenger app. Facebook today announced a new set of Star Wars-themed features for Messenger users, including a chat theme, reactions, stickers and AR effects. The features were developed in partnership with Disney to help promote the upcoming film, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ which premieres nationwide on December 20.”

Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice

Fast Company: There’s now a chatbot to give refugees instant legal advice. “For a Syrian refugee in Lebanon who is trying to navigate the legal path to resettlement, it can be difficult to find answers—and overstretched humanitarian organizations can take as long as three months to respond to an email when the demand for help is highest. A new chatbot called Mona, designed for Facebook Messenger and Telegram, can help more quickly.”

Mashable: Facebook unveils new Messenger tools for World Mental Health Day

Mashable: Facebook unveils new Messenger tools for World Mental Health Day. “If only talking to friends about mental health was as easy as pushing a button. In honor of World Mental Health Day, Facebook has launched two new tools on Messenger created to do just that. Produced in consultation with the World Health Organization, the tools were designed to help facilitate difficult conversations concerning mental health.”

CNET: Flaw in Facebook kids app let children chat with unapproved users

CNET: Flaw in Facebook kids app let children chat with unapproved users. “Facebook said Monday that a ‘technical error’ allowed thousands of kids who used the company’s messaging app for children to join group chats with people who weren’t approved by their parents. The app, called Messenger Kids, lets children between 6 and 12 years old send messages and video chat with family members and friends who their parents accept.”

Search Engine Journal: How to Prepare for 5 Changes Coming to Facebook Messenger

Search Engine Journal: How to Prepare for 5 Changes Coming to Facebook Messenger. “At the beginning of May, Facebook held its yearly F8 conference. This conference is where Facebook discusses the overall future of the platform and unveils its upcoming developments and features to developers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals. This year, Facebook announced a number of improvements to its Messenger service, as well as new, marketing-focused features.”