There’s a Standalone Messenger Website
If you work in front of a computer most of the day, you’d surely welcome the ability to access Messenger via that big fat screen in front of your face. You could get some limited messaging functionality via the little pop-over chatbox on the Facebook.com homepage, but you can also access a somewhat beefier version via messenger.com
. It’s handy, though we should note that the Messenger web app doesn’t include all the functionality of the mobile app—no encrypted messaging, for example (more on that later).
1.Interact With a Bot
Facebook is jumping headfirst into the chat blogosphere. Bots developed by news organizations like CNN or the Wall Street Journal, for example, deliver news links to your Messenger conversation based on your interests or queries; some allow you to place an order for something directly through Messenger, like 1-800 Flowers.
Want to talk to an algorithm? In Android or iPhone, hit the little lightning bolt icon (“Discover”) in the bottom right to access a searchable list of bots to start chatting or to subscribe to regular updates.
On iPad or on the web, search for bots directly in the “To:” field in a new conversation. Unfortunately, you just have to search for recognizable brands that conceivably could have the resources to develop a bot. What Facebook DESPERATELY needs is a small icon to let you know which brand accounts are an active bot. (Alternatively, botlist.co-compiled a list of available bots).
2. Use multiple accounts with Facebook Messenger
This is yet another bonus for Messenger users. You can add multiple accounts to Facebook Messenger at the same time, and switch between accounts on the fly. The app automatically loads the chats, contact list etc. of the account that is currently active. For this, go to Settings > Accounts, and use the “+” icon on the top right corner to add another account to Facebook Messenger. You can even specify whether to require the account password or not, when switching accounts.
Note: Out of a total of three Android devices we tested Facebook Messenger on, this feature’s available only on one. Consequently, it’s possible that it is a feature about to come in future update(s) to Facebook Messenger.
3.Supersize Your Emoji
Sometimes a simple emoji won’t do the trick and you need to SUPERSIZE that shiz. Easy enough to do. Just hold down the emoji in the bottom right-hand corner (which you can change—we’ll go over that later) and the symbol will grow. Once it gets to a certain height, just let go and you can send your friend a larger version of that icon. But be careful, if you hold it too long, the icon will begin to shake before deflating back to its smaller, normal size.
4. Download photos and videos over Wi-Fi to save data
Apart from text messages and stickers, Facebook Messenger also lets you send/receive photos and videos. However, the received photos & videos are downloaded automatically, which can be quite a problem if you’re on the limited data plan. Thankfully, you can set Facebook Messenger to download photos and videos only over Wi-Fi, thus helping conserve data. Go to Facebook Messenger’s Settings > Photos & Media, and check the Use Less Data option. Easy, right?
5. Use device’s rear camera for video calls
Almost all smartphones these days have dedicated front cameras, for video calls (and of course, selfies). However, they are not as good as the primary or rear cameras. Good thing is, if you use Facebook Messenger for video calling your friends, you can use the rear camera as well. For this, just start a video call, and tap the camera icon on the top right corner to switch to the rear camera.
6. Play chess with contacts
Believe it or not, Facebook Messenger comes with a built-in mini chess game that you can play with your buddies. To start a game with a contact, send @fbchess as a message, and you’ll be presented with an online chess game, with you and your contact taking turns to make moves. The game is not touch based, and can be played only by typing in commands. Type in @fbchess help to see the list of all the commands. Bet you didn’t know that!
Note: Facebook Messenger Commands are nothing but simple commands like the aforementioned @fbchess, which starts a cool chess game. Apparently, Facebook seems to be working on more such commands because when you type @ in a conversation, you get a list of commands available. At the moment, there are only a couple of commands: @fbchess and @dailycute.
From what we’ve heard, there was another cool command dubbed @holidaychallenge previously, so we can expect Facebook to keep changing these commands. The best option would be to simply keep checking the @ options time and again.
7. Send random cute animal images to contacts
No matter what the problem is, photos of cute dogs and cats can cheer anyone up. And with Facebook Messenger, you can help your friends lighten up a little bit with just that. Just send @dailycute as a message to a contact, and a random, Imgur hosted photo of a cute animal will be automatically sent to the contact. How cute is that?
8. Change conversation color
The default White and Blue color scheme of Facebook Messenger is good, but it does get a little boring after a while. But while you can’t do anything about the White, the Blue can be switched with a variety of colors. This comes in really handy for differentiating conversations with multiple contacts. To change a conversation’s color, open it up, and tap on the Details icon (the one with a little “i” in a circle) on the top right corner. Now, tap on Color, and choose any of the colors from the palette presented. This also changes the color of the conversation in your contact’s Facebook Messenger app. Check out the companion screenshot above, with the default Blue color replaced with Red.
9. Use Facebook Messenger with your phone number
What if you want to use Facebook Messenger for chatting with your friends, but don’t have a Facebook account? Not a problem. It might not seem that way, but you can use Facebook Messenger even if you don’t have a Facebook account. All you need is your phone number. For this, just tap on the Not on Facebook? option at Facebook Messenger’s first screen (see companion screenshot), and follow the simple steps to set up Facebook Messenger with your phone number.
10. Logout of Facebook Messenger (Android only)
For a simple chat app, Facebook Messenger sure makes something as easy as logging out of a signed account, a chore. That’s because the app provides no option to sign out. Thankfully, if you use Android, you can easily log out of Facebook Messenger. Go to Android’s Settings > Apps, and tap on Messenger. Now, tap on Storage > Clear Data, and you’re done. This is helpful if you want to use Messenger with multiple accounts. And that is what the next tip is all about.