WhatsApp Debuts Communities with End-to-End Encryption

Meta Platforms is globally releasing a major update for WhatsApp called Communities, which doubles the number of group chat members to 1,024, and adds video (and voice) for up to 32. Designed for schools, clubs, churches, the workplace and other organizations, Communities features include support for sub-groups, admin controls and in-chat polls. “We’re aiming to raise the bar for how organizations communicate with a level of privacy and security not found anywhere else,” the company said of the upgrade, stressing end-to-end encryption. In fact, Communities are not publicly discoverable, requiring an invitation. Continue reading WhatsApp Debuts Communities with End-to-End Encryption

Facebook Messenger Tests ‘Watch Videos Together’ Feature

Whether it involves movies, sports events or in-the-moment activities — sharing the experience with friends can make it more enjoyable. This is what Facebook is reportedly testing with its “Watch Videos Together” feature. This feature includes the ability to watch a video within a Messenger group chat while simultaneously commenting, discussing and joking about it. Earlier this year, Facebook launched its Watch Party. Facebook is now potentially expanding its concept of the Watch Party to Messenger, the popular instant messaging app and platform. Continue reading Facebook Messenger Tests ‘Watch Videos Together’ Feature

Twitch Signs Pact With NBA to Stream Minor League Games

Amazon-owned Twitch, the destination for eSports broadcasts, inked a deal with the NBA to stream up to six minor league games per week this season, beginning Friday, December 15. The NBA G League games on Twitch will feature interactive statistics overlays and a co-streaming option for some Twitch personalities to provide commentary, as well as a fan loyalty program. The G League games, which will have in-stream ads, will also offer subscriptions for viewers to receive custom emotes for group chat and other perks. Continue reading Twitch Signs Pact With NBA to Stream Minor League Games

Friends Can Share, Watch Videos Together via iMessage App

For friends who want to share and watch YouTube or Twitch videos together, a new Apple iMessage app, called Let’s Watch It!, is the answer. Group chat in the iMessage App Store has proven to be a hit, with video chat app Fam raising $1.8 million and plans to expand to game-playing, interactive live masks, filters and watching videos with friends. But Let’s Watch It!, which debuted in March, may be beating Fam at its game, adding support for turning on the front-facing camera and microphone, making it even more social. Continue reading Friends Can Share, Watch Videos Together via iMessage App

Tumblr Explores a New Direction with Video Chat App Cabana

In a first for Yahoo-owned Tumblr, the blogging platform is launching a group video chat app it has named Cabana. The new app — available now on iOS and coming to Android next month — enables video chat for up to six users who can also stream YouTube video content while chatting. Blogging remains the company’s primary focus, but Cabana represents the first communication app it has developed. Tumblr is “not pivoting, but definitely exploring a new direction here,” said founder/CEO David Karp. “The idea is similar to Houseparty, the app from the company behind former live-streaming darling Meerkat,” notes Recode, and “similar to Airtime, Sean Parker’s chat startup that was revived a year ago.” Continue reading Tumblr Explores a New Direction with Video Chat App Cabana

Joint Realtime Group Chat for Twitter May Have Legs

  • TechCrunch reports that a new startup named Joint is aiming to address the concerns of Twitter users who are “badly in need of a better way to facilitate realtime, private, and longer-form conversations.”
  • Twitter’s general philosophy so far has been to keep its UI simple and rely on third party developers to add features.
  • That’s where Joint comes in with its solution that “essentially turns any Twitter hashtag into an IRC-like chat room, which is integrated with a realtime hashtag stream,” indicates TechCrunch.
  • This enables different social interactions, including a front-and-center realtime group chat feature. “Joint could become a very useful resource for people looking to easily congregate and discuss ongoing situations like hurricanes, protests, or events, live, from any location,” suggests the post.
  • TechCrunch adds: “Joint and its team isn’t affiliated with Twitter in any way, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the social network comes knocking at their door at some point down the road.”