Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular apps in the world — more than 700 million people use it each month.
Facebook separated Messenger from the main Facebook app last year, and since then, the company has updated it with several features that make it much more than a typical messaging app.
For instance, did you know that you can send people money in Messenger and also use it to make video calls?
Here are 9 features Facebook Messenger has that you may not know about.
Messenger isn't just for sending text. The app supports voice and video calls over the internet, which means you don't need a traditional phone plan to speak to someone or have a video chat with them.
To call someone who has the Messenger app installed on their phone, tap the video or phone icon in the top right of the message window next to their name.
Facebook lets you transfer money from your bank account to anyone else on Messenger. It's easy to set up:
- Tap the little little icon with three dots next to the thumb icon and then 'Payments.'
- Enter the amount you want to send.
- Add your Visa or MasterCard debit card.
Each transaction can take up to a few business days to send depending on your bank, but Facebook doesn't charge any fee for providing the service. You can also add or manage your debit cards in the Messenger app under 'Payments' in the settings tab.
Facebook has partnered with several retailers as well as Zendesk, a customer service platform, to let you talk with companies like you would in a normal message thread.
When you buy something from Everlane, for example, and have your Facebook account tied into the order, your order details get sent to you in Messenger. You can request shipping status updates and get customer support directly in the app.
Facebook is starting to integrate more businesses into Messenger, but for now, this experience only works with Everlane and Zulily for retail.
When you're in a conversation, tap the three dots button in the bottom right corner and then tap 'Location.'
You can choose to share your current location or a pin somewhere else on a map.
Apps like Giphy and ESPN integrate directly into Messenger. This means you can use Giphy to quickly share a GIF or share sports memes and highlights from ESPN.
To see a list of all the apps you have access to, tap the three dots (in the bottom right corner) in a message thread.
If you'd rather not be annoyed by notifications from a message thread, you can mute the conversation without leaving it. Just tap the name of the person or group you're messaging at the top of the screen and then tap 'Notifications.'
You'll be able to mute the thread for a certain amount of time or indefinitely.
A section of the Messenger app you probably don't use is Groups. But if you deal with a lot of threads with multiple people, the tab is a great way to organise your conversations. You can pin them in a grid view and create new groups with a dedicated picture and name.
Eventually you'll be able to use 'M,' Facebook's virtual assistant that will be able to do things like book a flight to call your cable company.
Facebook is working on its own virtual assistant called M that will work directly in Messenger. Think of it like Siri, but more powerful. It will help you make restaurant reservations, buy stuff as if you were using Amazon, contact the DMV, book vacations, and more.
Right now, Facebook M is only available to a very small group of people using the Messenger app in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the social network's ambition is to have M eventually work for all of Messenger's 700 million users.
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