Facebook works some Photo Magic into Messenger

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook Messenger lets users call Uber cars.

Facebook said on Wednesday it is testing a service that will allow users of its Messenger app to hail Uber rides directly from the app, without leaving a conversation.SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has announced an alliance with Uber that lets people summon cars from the ride sharing service using the Messenger smartphone application.

The company explained that users can hail a ride in the latest version of Messenger by choosing “transportation” from a menu or by tapping on a car icon within a chat. “It’s super easy and doesn’t take you away from the plans that you’re making with your friends or family,” said Seth Rosenberg, Product Manager at Facebook in a blog post. Uber was described as the first partner in the launch of “transportation on Messenger,” leaving the door open to add Uber rivals as options for users of the smartphone messaging service. Starting today, Facebook has made its Photo Magic face recognition tool available globally (except for those in Canada and in the European Union) to help ensure that you can send the right photos to the right people. Meanwhile Uber wants to make its cab-hailing service more appealing to sceptical users, following a string of legal controversies and an ongoing war with London’s black cabbies .

Facebook earlier this year began testing a Messenger app virtual assistant that the leading social network said goes beyond artificial intelligence programs already on the market. For those who have access, you can enable it under the Settings menu in the app (Facebook will also prompt you to try it out when you open up Messenger).

From there, just snap a photo using the device’s camera — you don’t have to do it within any Facebook app — and then Photo Magic will do the work. UberRUSH launch in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco in October with a mission to “get customers pretty much anything in minutes,” according to a post at the company’s website. With a valuation that has reportedly climbed to $64 billion based on private funding rounds, Uber has become the most precious Internet industry “unicorn,” a reference to startups that remain private despite being valued at more than a billion dollars.

Uber’s ridesharing service has made it one of the world’s largest startups, operating in dozens of countries, but has faced regulatory hurdles in many areas and protests from established taxi operators. Company executive Stan Chudnovsky alluded to this earlier today in a Facebook post: Now you can personalize your experience, including setting nicknames, choosing colors for your conversations, and more. Oh, if you’re a fan of stickers, then you’ll be happy to know that Facebook now lets you affix Santa Claus, a Christmas tree, or any other holiday decoration to your conversations.

When having a conversation with a friend, their avatars will appear as winter wonderlands, but will transform into confetti-filled chat heads once the new year arrives.

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