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Facebook is working on transitioning users somewhat forcefully to using their dedicated Messenger app. Warning messages have been sent out to some European users that in about two weeks time, they wouldn’t be able to use the core Facebook app to do their chatting. Though this change will be rolling out globally, there will be exceptions in place for lower-powered Android devices that apparently can’t handle the Pure Awesome of the Facebook Messenger standalone app, and for Facebook’s relatively fresh news app, Paper.

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When Facebook Messenger released for Windows Phone devices a couple of weeks back, it marked the third official way to chat with your Facebook friends on Windows Phone. No kidding!

While the Facebook integration is one of the touted features of the platform and you can chat with your Facebook friends from within the messaging app, you can also do the same using the official Facebook app developed by Microsoft. And now, there’s Facebook Messenger. All of which brings us to the question, "How do you chat with your Facebook friends from your Windows Phone?"

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Facebook Messenger (www.facebook.com/messenger) has today launched on Windows Phone, just as announced back at Mobile World Congress. The joint venture between Microsoft and Facebook brings the familiar messaging experience from the popular social network to Windows Phone. Before you assume this app to be dead weight with Facebook integration in Windows Phone already present, think again as this expands on functionality. Head past the break for details and store links.

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The official Facebook app for Windows 8.1 received an update over the weekend, introducing a number of new additions to the experience. We last looked at the app back in November when a major update was pushed through. With this most recent release, it's now possible to turn off chat, manage groups, edit privacy on posts and more.

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The advent of social media profiles has created an interesting problem, from a philosophical perspective: what happens to your profile after you die? Originally they would just go dormant unless somebody had your password, but then Facebook updated their policy to place the profiles of our dearly departed into a "memorial" mode where visibility was restricted to only friends. But starting today, Facebook is changing that.

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The search engine that was first launched five years ago by Microsoft in 2009 as a competitor to the giant multinational corporation, Google, now has a global markets share of 5.62% across desktops and 2.64% across mobile devices. Bing is currently ranked as the world’s third most popular search engine and sits behind Yahoo’s 8.22% and Google’s massive 83.04% desktop search engine market share.

However, Microsoft is not just trying to get users to visit their own website – they are playing the covert operations game and acting as the backend for many services you and your friends may use. In fact, you might be loving Bing and not even know it.

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The news of Facebook acquiring WhatsApp for an enormous pile of money is front and center in the mobile communication industry today, and for good reason. Having watched WhatsApp grow from nothing into a cross platform winner over the last 5 years and doing a darn good job of executing on a growth plan, I'm impressed with what they've done. And while I was shocked to see the deal's valuation, I've taken some time to think about it rationally, and it might not be that insane.

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Facebook buys WhatsApp for $16 billion

Today it was announced that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for a whopping $16 billion. The SEC filing today reveals that WhatsApp will continue to operate as an independent entity under Facebook (much as Instagram did after their acquisition by Facebook), though the company claims that the deal will accelerate "Facebook's ability to bring connectivity and utility to the world." Facebook has long had their own messaging service in Facebook Messenger and it's not exactly clear how WhatsApp will complement that going forward.

Facebook is the world's largest social network with 1.23 billion users and growing, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that "WhatsApp is on the a path to connect 1 billion people. The service that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable."

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A few weeks ago Facebook launched a new app called Paper. As of right now it’s only available for the iPhone right now, not iPad, Android or Windows Phone. Which is pretty disappointing considering many folks who have played it Paper prefer it to the official Facebook app on iOS. We probably won’t see Paper for Windows Phone anytime soon, but we do have a new app that offers a comparable experience for those wanting Paper. Booklet is a new app for Windows Phone that’s worth checking out. So let’s check it out.

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The popular Twitter background creator for Windows Phone has been bumped to a new version, opening up high quality PNG formats for use. Tile Me! is a sweet little app, which allows you to enhance your Twitter profiles with multiple elements. Show your support for Microsoft's new UI and mobile platform with some added Live Tile effects. Pass the break to see what else is new.

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The Facebook beta for Windows Phone is an opportunity for avid fans of the social network to try out latest features in builds not yet available to the general public. We've gone through the festive period without an update with 5.0.2 released mid-December, but today a new release has been published to the store. Say hello to version 5.2.1.1.

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This new app we’re writing about is either really cool or really creepy. Alphega for Windows Phone shows the status updates and check-ins near you on a map. Updates from social networks that take place in your vicinity will appear in the real direction relative to you. The app is currently in open beta and it’s also available on Android devices.

Head past the break to watch our hands-on video and walkthrough.

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