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Facebook's 'Portal' Adds More Features


Facebook has added new content and features to its Portal family of home video-calling devices - Portal Mini, Portal, Portal+ and Portal TV.

This includes new AR content for the Story Time app as well as new streaming services for the Portal TV. The devices will also work with only a Whatsapp account.

A user can now login to Portal with his WhatsApp account to make video calls and access features like Story Time even if one does not have a Facebook account.

'Story Time' allows Portal users to narrate children's stories over video calls and also enable them to change their appearance to match the story's characters using augmented reality or AR effects.

Facebook said it has added new AR editions of classic stories, 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears', along with new tales from Llama Llama, Pete the Cat and Otto.

'Workplace on Portal' enables a Portal user to connect with his co-workers while working from home. People can communicate and connect at work using Facebook features like chat, video calling and groups.

Facebook has also added new features for Portal TV. Mic Drop enables a user to sing along with popular songs and perform them on an AR stage during a call.

AR masks can transform a user into music genre characters such as a punk rocker, hippie or an '80s rock star. A GIF snapshot of the performance can later be shared with friends.

The social media platform has introduced the Phone Booth app to Portal TV, helping users take selfies and videos, add AR effects and then share it with people on Messenger from the TV. Phone Booth also allows a video message to be sent to family and friends if they miss a call.

In addition, many shows and movies are being through new streaming partners on Portal TV, including Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., UK, Canada and France, along with FandangoNOW and Sling TV, which were recently added in the U.S.

Portal TV owners will be able to stream music, podcasts and audio shows from Deezer, in addition to music from Crave in Canada, and video from France Télévisions in France.

Users can now livestream from Portal directly to their Facebook profile via Facebook Live.

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