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Facebook (FB) Reportedly Testing Dark Mode on Messenger

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Reportedly, Facebook FB is revamping its Messenger platform with the much-awaited dark mode feature. Users can switch to this mode from the “Me” feature on the app in the countries where it is available. It is accompanied with a “work in progress” message.

Studies have shown that the blue light emitted from digital devices damages eyes and can lead to blindness. Thus, the black mode will help in reducing the strain on human eye.

Facebook is following the likes of Twitter TWTR and Alphabet’s GOOGL YouTube, which already have the dark mode on their applications for Android and iOS users.

In the new mode, the background is black while the text is white. Moreover, as the new feature uses minimum colors, it consumes less battery. This is expected to boost user engagement level and attract more advertisers on its platform.

Notably, in the third quarter, 10 billion messages were exchanged between people and businesses on a monthly basis on Facebook Messenger. The company’s effort to make Messenger more attractive is expected to give it a competitive edge over the likes of Snap SNAP owned Snapchat and Alphabet’s Android Messages among others.
New Features to Lure Users

Facebook is leaving no stone unturned to target more users. The company is adding new features and tools that improve engagement.

In a bid to make its platform simpler and easier to use, Facebook is reportedly working on voice commands to send messages, initiate calls and create reminders on Messenger. Moreover, the new function will also help it cater to international users whose native languages are difficult to type, per TechCrunch.

The company is also testing Watch Videos Together — a co-viewing video feature for its Messenger platform, per TechCrunch. With this new feature, everyone in the chat group can control the videos and discuss the same while viewing.

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Facebook Catching on Video Viewing

Moreover, Facebook intends to cash in on the ever-increasing trend of video viewing on social media platforms. The social media giant has a budget of $1 billion for its video initiatives.

The company also unveiled In-Stream Reserve program and ThruPlay for companies to advertise on the most popular videos on its platform. As video ads generate more revenues than its photo and text-based substitutes, Facebook is trying to incorporate more and more video-oriented content to bring in more ad dollars and boost its top line in the near term.

Can Facebook Regain User Confidence?

Facebook witnessed a horrific 2018, thanks to a host of factors that tarnished the brand’s image. Data breaches, the Cambridge Analytica scandal and proliferation of fake news were some of the incidents that resulted in loss of users.

The security issues spooked users as well as advertisers. Since advertising accounts for more than 98% of Facebook’s revenues, this is likely to impact top-line growth. Notably, the company expects revenue growth rate to decelerate in the fourth quarter, along with a 50-55% increase in expenses driven by data privacy initiatives.

The company has undertaken several measures to curb misuse of its platform. These included removal of pages and accounts that were found spreading misinformation, ahead of elections in Bangladesh, India, Brazil and United States.

Facebook’s current endeavors to regain user confidence are hard to ignore. This along with enhanced features of its various applications improves growth prospects in 2019.

Facebook currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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