Facebook messenger used to be little more than a run of the mill IM service. You could effectively text anyone, anywhere so long as they were on Facebook! It has come a long way of late and many new, and not so new, features can really improve your user experience. The following list contains ten things you may not have noticed! Go on have a go!
The following are in no particular order and are far from exhaustive! Enjoy!
[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons]
Use “M”, Facebook’s virtual assistant
Currently in its infancy, “M” will eventually work with everyone’s Facebook messenger. It is intended to be more powerful than “Siri” and will help you book restaurant reservations, buy stuff, book holidays and much more. Currently, it is limited to certain users in the US but it will eventually be available to all of users soon. Watch this space!
Be left alone, for a while at least
Let’s face it, it can be very annoying to be constantly harrassed by your phone with app updates, especially from Facebook messenger. If you would like to be left alone for a bit, without leaving the conversation, just tap the name of the person or group and then tap “Notifications”.
From here you are able to mute the thread for a certain amount of time, or indeed, indefinitely. Peace at last!
Third party app “plugins”
If you click on the “…” icon on the bottom right of the messenger app you should notice that you can integrate other apps into it. This lets you use things like Giphy to quickly share Gifs or memes or anything else really. This is a pretty neat feature and integrating with “cloud” storage like dropbox will save you a lot of effort sharing documents, for example! Nice!
Messenger app for desktop
You may have noticed the difference in functionality between the desktop messenger and that on your smart device. Well worry no more, you can get your own messenger app by logging into Messenger.com.
This should be a straightforward process but here’s a tutorial for you, just in case.
If you use groups, well at all, this might be a nifty little feature for you. If you have a lot of them you can organize your conversations. Give them nicknames, put them in a grid view and even give them dedicated pictures! Handy eh?
Facebook has been partnering with several retailers of late. They have started to integrate businesses more and more into Facebook messenger. Currently, this is limited to just a few participating organizations but will likely grow with time. The idea is that you can use messenger like a customer service platform and talk to them directly. Just like on a “normal” message thread or customer service AI bot. If you buy something from, say Everlane, and your Facebook account is tied to the order, you should be able to get updates on shipping status or get customer support directly. Neat eh?
This feature is called F8 and it plans to make -800 numbers obsolete.
Send “moolah” to anyone*
*in the US only
Did you know you can send money to friend and family via Facebook messenger? No? Neither did we until today. You can easily send money from your bank account to anyone and setup is pretty easy. A word of warning though, this is only available if:-
1-You live in the US
2-Are at least 18 years old
3-Add a US debit card
4-Set your preferred currency to USD
5-Are not disabled from sending/receiving money on Facebook
If those all apply the rest is easy. Tap on the “…” icon next to the thumb icon on messenger and then select “payments”. Enter the amount you want to send and then add your debit card. Boom done! Transactions take a few business days to arrive and Facebook will not charge you for doing this. You can also manage your debit cards under the “Payments” section of the settings tab.
Voice and video calling
Ok, you might have noticed this one, but just in case you haven’t, consider yourself informed. Facebook messenger isn’t just a simple IM tool. Much like other, probably better known, apps like Skype, you can use messenger to make voice and video calls. It is cross-platform so as long as the recipient has it installed on their computer or smart device you can call them 24/7. So long as they are online of course.
To use it simply click on the camera icon on the top right section of your messenger interface when communicating with them. It is pretty intuitive to use but call quality will vary depending on each person’s internet speed. More dedicated voice and calling apps do offer better voice and video calling but the convenience and, more or less, universality and popularity of Facebook mean you can pretty much count on the other person having the function on their messenger. Enjoy!
Here I am!
This very useful feature is becoming ever more common on apps. Whatsapp has had this for several years, for instance. Did you know you can do this on Facebook Messenger? To do this click on the “…” icon on the bottom right of your messenger app and click “location”. It is that simple!
Why bother just talking to your friends! Challenge them to a tank battle or a game of pool! If you click on the little game controller to the left of the “thumb” symbol you’ll get a list of games populated. The instant game feature was launched last November and the list grows every day! Some games would normally need you to install it on your phone, but not with Facebook messenger! Cool.
So there you go. Will you be using ony of these in the future? Did you know about any of them? What features would you recommend or what would you like to see Facebook messenger add in the future? Let us know in the comments and happy “Facebook messenger-ing” peeps.