New Facebook Application Allows Users to Send SMS

September 23, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. raised a few eyebrows (idiom) [reyzd a fyoo ahy-brous] – to shock or surprise people
Example: The sudden death of the president raised a few eyebrows.

2. riot (n.) [rahy-uht] – public disorder caused by a group of people who become noisy and out of control, most often damaging property and acting violently

3. movement (n.) [moov-muhnt] – the organized action of a group of people who share the same ideas or goals
Example: They organized a movement to save endangered wild animals. 

4. compatibility (n.) [kuhm-pat-uh-bil-li-tee] – able to exist and go together without conflict
Example: They became best friends right away because of their good compatibility.

5. solely (adv.) [sohl-lee] – only; for nothing other than
Example: It is solely the accountant who can explain the company’s financial statements.

Read the text below.

Facebook users can now send SMS (short messaging service) messages with the new instant messaging application for mobile phones introduced by the social networking giant last August.

With this application, Facebook users can send text messages directly to the mobile phones of friends or groups of people. Before, Facebook users could only send and receive messages by going online on their Facebook accounts.

The launching of this new application has raised a few eyebrows because its timing is close to the recent riot in London. Those who participated in the said incident used a Blackberry mobile messenger application to organize and manage their movement.

BBC News thinks, however, that Facebook timed the launching before the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system (iOS 5) which includes an instant messenger feature. Stuart Miles, a technology expert from, suggests that Facebook might be taking advantage of its compatibility with both iPhone and Android. Unlike other applications like Facetime which is solely used on iPhone units and BBM for Blackberry, Facebook can work on either phone.

Currently, Facebook mobile messenger is only available in the United States but it is expected to reach other countries soon.  

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of using social networking sites?
·         How do you usually communicate with your friends or workmates?

Discussion B

·         What mobile features do you use often?
Which mobile features or applications do you think are not really necessary? Why?

September 23, 2011