Facebook Messenger is one those ubiquitous apps that almost everyone uses on a daily basis and doesn’t really think about it. It’s because of this that Facebook and various partner apps are making it even more powerful, with dozens of really interesting things you can do directly from Messenger itself.
For starters, did you know you can use it as a stand-alone web client by heading to messenger.com? Try it!
There are also many more alternative Messenger clients you can try and Facebook tricks you should check out. Some of the newest Facebook tricks are quite useful, while many more are just fun Facebook tools to mess with.
Voice & Video CallsYou might not have noticed it, but Facebook Messenger isn’t just for text messages. It’s very simple to start voice or video calls by using the relevant buttons at the top of your chat.
You can also leave a voice message whenever you like. So, if the person you want to talk to isn’t around, just leave them a message they can listen to later.
Share LocationIf you ever need to let your friends know exactly where you are, jump into a chat with them, hit the three dots and choose Location. Your friend will instantly get a map showing your precise position.
It’s a really cool trick to use when you’re running late.
Add NicknamesYou’ve probably got a few friends who go by a nickname that’s completely unrelated to their proper name on Facebook. You possibly also have a friends that have changed surnames over the years, yet you only seem to recall their old names.
Spare yourself the confusion and use Messenger’s nickname feature to help remind you who all these people are. Just click on their name and you should see the option to add the nickname.
Messenger ChessWhen you next feel the urge to challenge a friend at chess, you can do so from within the Facebook Messenger app. Just type @fbchess in your chat and the game will commence. To make moves, you’ll need to manually type in the moves, such as @fbchess Pb4 to move a pawn in column B to row 4. If you get stuck you can always type @fbchess help for instructions.
Stickers, GIFs & Thumbs-UpFacebook have integrated a whole bunch of stickers for you to use in messages, with different styles available, and you can choose your favorites to keep them readily available.
If stickers aren’t your thing, Facebook has integrated Giphy into Messenger, so you can find just about any GIF you like and insert it in a few clicks. It’s all too easy.
There’s also a quick thumbs-up button you can use for a simple reaction to a message. Most people don’t realize you can also resize it by holding the thumb before you post.
And do you know what the circles mean in Facebook Messenger? It’s worth knowing.
Use Facebook Messenger as a Boarding PassKLM Royal Dutch Airlines now give passengers the option to receive their flight updates and check in notifications through Facebook Messenger. And when you arrive at the airport, you can actually use Facebook Messenger as your boarding pass.
Better still, if you need to re-book your flight you can do it all via Messenger. I can’t wait until other airlines get on board!
Send Money in MessengerNeed to pay a friend back for something? Just dive into Messenger and pay them directly.
Click the three dots and choose “Payments”. The first time you do this you’ll need to connect a debit card to your account. Swiping left while you’re making a transaction will let you choose a theme, such as wine bottles or cupcakes.
Group MessagesInstead of relaying your conversations between friends, just start a group chat with all the relevant parties so you can sort things out at once. Everyone gets all the updates and no-one misses anything important.
You can also name your groups and pin them to the top, so if you’ve got a long-term group chat going with your family members or your bowling friends you can keep it organised and easy to find.
Mute Messenger NotificationsIf you’ve ever been in an active group chat, you’ve probably noticed it can be a special form of torture. Notifications for every single message can really start to get on your nerves.
So fix the problem by muting the whole group chat. You can mute for a set length of time — 15 minutes, 1 hour, 8 hours, 24 hours — or you can choose “Until I turn it back on” for an indefinite period of time.
Change ColorSick of Smurfy blue? Click on a contact and choose “Change Color”. This will change the conversation color for everyone in the chat, even if it’s a group chat.
Messages From Non-FriendsBy default you only see messages from your contacts, even though occasionally you may be sent a message from a stranger. If you want to check these messages, head to Settings > People > Message Requests.
Random CuteIf you know someone who could use a dose of cuteness, open up a chat with them and type @dailycute. It’ll instantly grab a cute image for you and post it.
Remove PreviewsIf you’ve got your notifications showing up on your lock screen, it’s a really good idea to stop Messenger from displaying the content of your messages in those notifications. You don’t really want your friends being able to see private chats while your phone is on the table in front of them.
To remove previews, just head into the settings and uncheck the “Show Previews” option.
Take Photos in MessengerInstead of taking a photo with your phone’s camera app, then uploading it to Messenger, you can actually just click on the camera icon to get the job done. Take a quick selfie or a photo of something you need to share and it will send instantly.
You can also hold the button to record a video with the same tool, which has options to use the rear camera, expand your view and more.
Draw on Your PicturesNot everyone is content with a simple photo. Sometimes you need to draw on it or write a bit of information to make it clear what the receiver is supposed to learn from the image. So, click Edit while viewing your image and add whatever modifications are required. This only works for images you’ve swiped to, not images in the gallery.
Soon we’ll also be able to manipulate our videos in Messenger, as Facebook has acquired the video filter maker Msqrd and will no doubt make use of this new investment quickly to compete with Snapchat.
Send Spotify Tracks in MessengerIf you have the Spotify app installed on your device, you can send Spotify tracks to friends via Messenger. Your friend will need to have Spotify installed to play the track, but they’ll be prompted to install it if they don’t.
Just click on the three dots in your Messenger chat, choose Spotify and navigate in the Spotify app to find the track you want. Select the track and press send. Done!
Install Compatible AppsThere are dozens of apps compatible with Messenger that can be used to enhance your experience. Just like Giphy and Spotify, these apps will be readily available once integrated, however you need to install these apps on your device before integrating.
You can try it out with a number of apps such as emoji keyboards, Bitmoji, GIF keyboards, meme apps, and weather apps. To integrate a new app, hit the three dots from any conversation and scroll down the list of compatible apps currently on your device. Click “Install” when you’ve found one you want to use.
Basketball on MessengerIf you want a quick game of basketball with a friend — and who doesn’t? — all you need to do is send a basketball emoji to them, then tap on the message. From there you just swipe to get it in the hoop, which will gain you a point. When you eventually miss the hoop, your game will end and your score is tallied and sent to your friend so they can try to beat it.
Use Just Your Phone NumberNot everyone has a Facebook account, believe it or not. If you want to use Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account, just install the Messenger app on your smartphone and it will identify you by your phone number.
Hail an Uber Ride in MessengerUber and Lyft are integrated into Facebook, but they need to be installed on your device and you do need to set things up the first time you use them through Messenger. Just hit the three dots and choose “Transportation”.
The first time you’ll be talked through the setup process. From then on you’ll be able to see Uber/Lyft as another one of your contacts and chat to it to get yourself a ride — there’s also a car icon to click. You can make all of your choices within Messenger, see the fare and book. Payment is made with the details in your Uber or Lyft app.