Facebook Messenger is a very popular messaging app that the parent company started promoting as a standalone app back in 2014.
At the time, not so many were impressed with the decision to strip the main Facebook mobile app off the capabilities of messaging. The Facebook Messenger used to live within the Facebook app, but this change meant users had to download and install a separate app for messaging purposes. Little did many know that this app will turn out to be a huge success just two years later, boasting a user base of over 1 billion monthly visitors.
Ever since Facebook Messenger became a standalone offering, it has been receiving numerous updates that bring new features and abilities, most of which are utilized by very few people who use the app. Well, this article is here to shed some light on 10 hidden features that are really great, but you might have never come across then when using Messenger. In fact, you will be surprised at how you have been surviving all this time without using these features.
Notifications are one of the best things to have come from Android. However, this feature can at some point be annoying, especially if you are part of very active groups. The good thing is that Facebook Messenger lets you mute these notifications so that they don’t disturb you in any way. You can mute individual or group notifications by tapping the “i” icon and then tap Notifications. Here, you can decide to mute them for 15 minutes or permanently, until you decide to unmute them.
Like with WhatsApp, it is possible to share location on Facebook Messenger. When chatting, tap the gray (square) icon in the bottom right corner and from the menu, tap Location and you should be able to easily share your current position.
Change chat colors
You can have all chats personalized with a unique color on Facebook Messenger. When chatting with a friend, just tap the “i” button in the top right corner and then hit “Color” from the menu that appears. Pick the color you want and you will see the changes applied. It gets even better as this change can also be applied to group chats.
No Facebook account? No problem
Unlike before where users had to sign up for a Facebook Messenger account using their Facebook credentials, this is no more. In short, you don’t need to be on Facebook in order to use Messenger, instead, you can use your phone number to create an account, just like WhatsApp, Viber or Google Allo.
Apps for Messenger
Facebook wants you to have everything in one place such that once you start chatting on the app, you don’t have to leave the conversation to search for a GIF, for instance, that you can share with a friend. Instead, the app has Apps for Messenger where you can install these apps and use them right from within the app. Just tap on the gray (square) icon in the bottom right corner and you should see a list of available apps.
If you have friends whom you rarely address by their official names, Facebook Messenger has an option that lets you rename their current entries and use your preferred nickname. However, this will not change the name of your friend on Facebook.
Facebook recently added a secret conversations feature to Messenger. This is just another layer of security where users can be sure that their messages are only kept on their devices and nowhere else. When inside a chat screen, tap on the “i” icon in the top right corner and from the options, you should see one for Secret conversations. When chatting secretly, Facebook Messenger also lets you set the time a message lasts on the recipient’s device once they’ve read it. This may range from 5 seconds all the way to 24 hours.
As noted above, Facebook Messenger supports both individual and group conversations. You can create a group and chat with everyone at once. The app also allows users to place group calls, but this feature is still restricted to voice calls only, even though the app supports video calling.
Messenger also lets you add different people to a group call even if they are not in the current group you are already part of. Just tap on the group icon on top of the main screen and you will be able to initiate and add people to a group call.
Facebook Messenger introduced support for chat bots with its Bots for Messenger platform. These chat bots, as their name suggests, can keep you occupied with chats until your friend is available for a real talk. In addition to these simple chats, the Messenger app lets you do other things like order an Uber from within the app, book a flight, get facts about stuff and even jokes, among others.
If you are an Android user, you will love this one. Rather than go through the hassle of launching the app and then again start scrolling to a given chat, you can simply create a shortcut to this chat and make life easier for yourself. To do this, locate this chat and long press on it from the main screen. From the menu, select “Create shortcut” and that’s it. This is also possible with group chats.
A shortcut will be created on the home screen where tapping on it will take you direct to the conversation or contact in question.
Add a second account
Facebook Messenger allows users to sign in with more than one account. However, you will only be able to use one account at a time, but switching between the signed in accounts is a no brainer. Under your profile, there is an option to “Switch Account” where tapping it will let you jump from one account to the other in a hassle-free manner.
What other hidden Facebook Messenger feature are you aware of that is not included in this list? Please feel free to share with us in the comments.