10 cool belongings you did not know you can do with Fb Messenger

I bear in mind when Fb made the choice to “liberate” Messenger from Fb correct and switch it right into a standalone app. I used to be not glad, because it was not just one extra app I needed to set up, but in addition an additional step I needed to take each time I needed to speak with somebody.

All is forgiven.

Fb Messenger has quietly developed right into a stellar software, one I discover helpful for extra than simply chats with mates. Certainly, if you have not used it recently, you may be shocked to find all of the issues Messenger can do. Let’s check out among the highlights, most of them centered on the app variations of Messenger (however with occasional dips into the desktop).

Message throughout platforms

Fb Messenger (proven right here in a desktop browser) permits for straightforward — and versatile — group chats.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

There’s an argument to be made that Messenger is the easiest way to “textual content” with mates and kin, as a result of it isn’t topic to the constraints of platform-specific messaging.

Take, for instance, iMessage: It really works rather well as long as you are speaking with different iOS customers. However join with an Android consumer and now all you have obtained is proscribed, SMS-powered texting. That is as a result of iMessage leverages knowledge (when obtainable) to supply perks just like the little “different consumer is typing” bubble, animated emojis and so forth — similar as Messenger.

That is why once I’m chatting with Android customers, I want Messenger — if solely as a result of it lets me know when a message has been considered and when somebody’s typing a response. However I can see a time coming when it’d turn out to be my most popular messaging app, interval.

Maintain a bunch chat

If you happen to’ve ever tried to do a bunch chat in a text-messaging app, you understand it could get messy — particularly when you have a mix of Android and iOS customers. In my expertise, messages are sometimes gradual to reach, some folks do not obtain each message, notifications rapidly drive you insane and so forth.

Messenger makes it straightforward to speak with a bunch. Simply create a brand new message, then enter the names of the contributors. As soon as you have despatched that first message, you may click on the settings icon (the little gear) and alter the dialog title and/or shade, ship recordsdata, create a everlasting group, schedule an occasion and mute the dialog if notifications get overwhelming.

Entry it in a browser

Simply as Messenger exists as a standalone cell app, so can it function on the internet with out Fb correct. Simply signal into Messenger.com and you will get a complete tab dedicated to the service. Why do this? For starters, you get a full-screen interface, with a lot simpler administration and group of contacts and messages.

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Messenger.com enables you to entry Messenger in its personal spacious browser window, no Fb required.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Encrypt conversations

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Involved about safety? After all you’re: Day by day we examine some new password breach or ransomware assault. Happily, Messenger gives an additional layer of safety for conversations you are feeling require it. “Secret” messages are “end-to-end encrypted on any or your entire cell units on the similar time.”

To start out such a dialog within the iOS model of Messenger, faucet the new-message icon (top-right nook), then faucet Secret and select the particular person you wish to chat with. In Android, begin a brand new dialog, then faucet the data icon (top-right nook) after which Secret dialog. In each instances you may faucet the little timer icon within the textual content field and set a timer to make the dialog disappear.

Ship and obtain cash

Shock: You need to use Messenger to ship and obtain cash, PayPal-style. Effectively, shut: Messenger funds require a debit card on each ends of the transaction. However there is no value to make use of the service, which gives PIN-based safety and “industry-leading safety,” in accordance with Fb.

Evidently, an possibility like this will are available very helpful if you wish to, say, break up a test. Or pay for one thing you have discovered on Fb Market. To discover ways to arrange and use the characteristic, take a look at “Use Fb Messenger to ship and obtain cash.”

Make free telephone calls

Like iMessage, Skype and different messaging apps, Messenger enables you to make each voice and video calls. If you happen to’re already utilizing a unique app for these functions, you most likely will not discover a compelling motive to change. However I am keen on Messenger partially as a result of I’ve few mates on Skype, however tons on Fb. Thus, I am more likely to have the ability to make contact. And in contrast to iMessage, Messenger works throughout platforms (similar as with textual content chats), so I am not restricted to calls with simply different iOS customers.

There is no cost to make use of Messenger for calls, although it’s going to impression your knowledge plan in case you’re not related to a Wi-Fi community.

Play video games

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You may play mini-games in Messenger, although not in actual time with mates.


Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Messenger gives a pair dozen mini-games you may play solo or in opposition to a good friend (although not in real-time; they’re all the “see who can get the very best rating” selection). These vary from arcade classics like Galaga and Pac-Man to newer video games like Phrases With Associates and Minimize the Rope 2. If you wish to play by yourself, simply faucet the Video games tab and select a title. To play in opposition to a good friend, open your dialog with that good friend, faucet the “plus” icon after which faucet Video games.

Immediately ship a 15-second video

You could already know that Messenger has a built-in digicam perform. Nevertheless, if you wish to quick-send a video as a substitute, simply maintain down the digicam shutter button for as much as 15 seconds. While you allow you to go (or 15 seconds elapse), that video will instantly preview — in a repeating loop — at your finish till you faucet the ship or cancel button.

It is a nice strategy to seize one thing quick, with out having to change modes or apps.

Ship a file

“Hey, are you able to ship me that TPS report”? If you happen to get this request whereas utilizing Messenger in a desktop browser, you do not have to leap over to e mail, create a brand new message and all that. As a substitute, you may simply click on the paperclip icon within the Messenger toolbar and ship a file instantly. (In Messenger.com, you may really drag and drop recordsdata as a substitute.) The utmost file measurement you may connect is 25MB — similar as in Gmail.

There’s much more Messenger can do, however that is my record for now. What options have you ever found that you simply discover particularly helpful?

Create shared Spotify playlists

Here is a cool thought: Let everybody contribute to the playlist in your subsequent highway journey, yard BBQ or home get together. Spotify now makes this doable because of a brand new Group Playlists for Messenger extension.

As soon as you have put in it, you merely create a brand new playlist, then invite mates so as to add songs. (They do not should be Spotify customers/subscribers themselves, fortunately.) Presently, the extension works solely in Messenger’s cell apps, not on the desktop.

To seek out out extra, take a look at “Tips on how to create Spotify group playlists in Fb Messenger.

Editors’ notice: This text was initially printed on June 5, 2017, and has since been up to date.

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