The Facebook at Work app.

The Facebook at Work app. Credit: Facebook

Facebook is not content just being a juggernaut with 1.4 billion users. With these official add-ons that provide extra features and options, the social network is hoping its members will never leave its company-owned sites or apps.

Facebook Messenger

(iOS, Android; free)

The most important add-on for Facebook and its users is this seemingly simple instant message app, which already has 600 million users. Messenger has long had the ability to text, call and message all your contacts, not just your Facebook friends. But Facebook says Messenger is becoming a "platform" where you can buy items and make payments and also load other apps from third-party providers such as ESPN and the Weather Channel. Not all features are available now, but Facebook says most will roll out soon.

Facebook Pages Manager

(iOS, Android; free)

Aimed mainly at small-business owners who use Facebook as a marketing tool, Facebook Pages Manager makes it easier to keep track of and update numerous Facebook pages while on the go. Especially helpful is the ability to see and respond to private messages sent to any of your pages. Some users complain about the lack of technical support from Facebook.


(iOS, Android; free)

Facebook-owned Instagram is perhaps best known -- and widely mocked -- as a site where users post pictures of what they are having for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all meals in-between. But the robust interaction between Instagram and Facebook makes it easy to edit pictures and videos on Instagram and post them automatically to Facebook. Photo-editing tools include numerous filters.

Facebook at Work

(iOS, Android; free)

This relatively new app is still having trouble finding an audience because it can only be used by businesses. The idea is to use the folksy Facebook interface that employees are familiar with but to utilize it to collaborate on projects with other employees in a professional manner. In other words, do not think of posting that beer pong photo on your Facebook at Work page.

Tech bytes

Lowering their guard

Businesses have largely stopped shielding themselves against the Heartbleed Web-security flaw, providing attackers with an easy target, according to security company Venafi. Heartbleed allows hackers to steal user names, passwords and other information. The fading response shows how companies have cut corners responding to cyber-attacks despite highly publicized hacks, including the one into Community Health Systems last year in which 4.5 million health records were stolen. -- Bloomberg News

Roku adds price alerts

Roku media players will now alert users when the price of a movie they're interested in watching is reduced. It's one of several new features aimed at helping Roku distinguish itself from competitors such as Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. The devices allow apps such as Hulu, Netflix and WatchESPN to be accessed on a TV.-- Los Angeles Times

High on the Vine

Vine has gone high-def. The popular app, where users post looping videos of six seconds or less, now supports uploads in 720p video format. Previously, only low-definition 480p format was supported. The quality upgrade was unveiled for iPhones and will roll out to Android devices soon. Twitter-owned Vine says users have posted 1.5 billion videos since the app was introduced two years ago.-- Peter King

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