Facebook posted yesterday on the Facebook Newsroom about a few improved features and a new look introduced to Facebook Messages. What's new with Facebook Messages is that it has got a new side-by-side layout. The new layout means that now users will be able to see their most recent messages on the left, and view the entire conversation on the right. Using multiple photos and emoticons would add more life to the conversations. Facebook now lets you search for a sender by entering his or her name, or by typing a keyword from the main messages view. In addition Facebook has introduced some keyboard commands for easy navigation. To view the full list of the keyboard shortcuts now available, users can type Alt+Q on a PC or Control+Q on a Mac.   

Facebook Message redesigned

Facebook Messages redesigned

Called the Mercury Project, which Facebook recently started, it aims to address issues pertaining to disconnection, incorrect message counts, and missed and duplicated messages. Facebook has also revealed a few details from “Under the Hood” that it carried out while improving Messages.

We could not spot the new changes to Facebook Messages at the time of writing this article, so we believe they should be on their way. Read more about the Mercury Project here.

Today, it was reported that Facebook's plans to buy Instagram receiving the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's clearance. The decision now clears the path for Facebook to complete its purchase of the mobile photo application maker, making it the biggest acquisition in its history. Facebook announced plans to buy Instagram in a cash and stock deal for $1 billion in April next year.

Recently, an independent testing by Ars Technica revealed that photos deleted from Facebook were quickly moving out of its servers. Facebook had earlier admitted to being unable to erase user-deleted images from its servers, much to the chagrin of its users. Photos cached on the servers now stop being visible within 30 days of deletion.

In the course of its testing, Ars Technica found that Twitter and Flickr took a few seconds to remove the photos from their content delivery networks (CDN), while MySpace and Facebook were found to take very long to do so. MySpace took several months, Facebook over a year. Ars Technica adds that Facebook only removed the photos were deleted as a part of ArsTechnica's investigation. ArsTechnica said, “…numerous Ars readers wrote in with links to their own photos that they tried to delete, and nearly all of those remained online (in direct-linkable form) for three years or more”.

Earlier this month, there were reports about Facebook making Timeline compulsory across the website starting from August 8. Before the scheduled switch would happen, users would be shown a preview of their profile pages. So far users had the option of choosing between the Timeline and the older format as per their liking. That, however, is set to change with the Timeline being made compulsory.

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