Facebook Messenger is the second most popular messaging app on the planet, just overshadowed by the super popular WhatsApp, but both are owned by the same company and giant of them all – Facebook.
With more than 1 billion downloads on the Google Play Store alone, there’s no doubt that Facebook Messenger has a huge following. But what makes it such a popular app. Well, one thing that is for sure is because the regular Facebook app doesn’t support private messaging and in order to chat privately with your Facebook friends, one must download and install the Messenger app.
Another thing that has made Facebook Messenger very popular is the constant addition of new features and updates that are geared towards making it an even better messaging platform. One such update, which is currently being tested as at the time of this writing, is the integration of chats with Facebook M digital assistant.
Facebook M has been around for quite some time now, but it has yet to make a breakthrough into the uncongested digital assistants market. However, it seems this won’t last ages before finally happening. We’ve seen Google integrate its digital assistant with its messaging app Google Allo and Facebook Messenger will be taking the same direction after the successful completion of this test.
Furthermore, the new Facebook Messenger app is also going through a design change, with the UI looking a bit more colorful, but this doesn’t in any way add more functionality to it. If anything, the major change here is the switch from having two rows of UI elements into a single row, thus adding you more space for viewing messages. On the downside, you might find it a little cumbersome when it comes to accessing a bunch of these elements, but Facebook has tried making this easier by adding a “plus” folder, but this will still need more effort to get to than before.
The new Facebook Messenger also brings more organized and labeled emojis, unlike the current version where you find them all over, but still, the biggest addition here is the integration of chats with M assistant. M will pop up in chats when it sees things like greetings or happy birthday wishes sent to you. Compared to the hype the assistant has received since its 2015 launch, the version being tested seems to be a simplified one, eliminating the likes of buying gifts, making reservations and so on. But since this is still in testing, we may see more features added sooner or later.
Facebook has also added users more control over notifications for app updates. When Facebook Messenger receives a new update, there’s usually a notification sent confirming that the app has been updated to version x.x.x. The next time you see this notification, just tap on it and you’ll see the option to turn it off. Facebook might also be working on adding the option to open links in external browsers rather than completely rely on the less impressive inbuilt version it offers.