Facebook reintroduces SMS integration to Messenger for Android

facebook messenger day holiday update 1
Facebook has brought back the integration of SMS support into Messenger for Android. Users of the popular messaging service now have the option to send and receive SMS texts within Facebook’s chat app, allowing for communication with contacts beyond the confines of the social network.

Updated on 06-15-2016 by Saqib Shah: Added info about the relaunch and functionality of SMS support on Messenger for Android

If you want Messenger as your smartphone’s all-round messaging platform, simply head into the settings tab by pressing the person icon, then select “SMS” from the list, and turn on “Default SMS app.” Once activated, your SMS conversations will appear in purple chat bubbles in order to differentiate them from Messenger’s traditional blue bubbles.

Aside from text, images, video, and audio, SMS on Messenger can also support rich content including stickers, emoji, and location sharing. Messenger still boasts a number of unique features that can’t be applied to SMS texts within the app, most notably GIFs, money transfers, and the ability to request transportation. Facebook also revealed that it won’t store any of your SMS conversations on its servers. As usual, the standard text messaging fees will apply to all SMS messages sent from Messenger.

If you used Messenger prior to late 2013, you may remember that it initially included SMS integration. However, the feature was removed, with Facebook claiming that few people actually used it on a consistent basis.

Facebook has re-introduced SMS integration to Messenger for Andorid
Facebook has reintroduced SMS integration to Messenger for Android.

It’s likely that the feature’s Android test phase, which began around February, restored the social network’s faith in SMS. Facebook claims that iOS integration was excluded because the operating software doesn’t currently support app permissions for accessing SMS. Regardless of the technical difficulties, it would have been a harder sell on Apple devices due to the popularity of iMessage. Considering the latter is about to get a ton of new updates with iOS 10, it’s difficult to imagine iPhone users abandoning their native messaging service when it comes to sending and receiving texts.

A Facebook post announcing the revival of SMS on Android states the following: “We know that people receive messages via both SMS and Messenger — for example your best friend sends you GIFs on Messenger while your mom only uses SMS — we want to make it easier to stay in touch with all the people you care about.”

Facebook began testing SMS integration on a small number of Android users in North America in February. At the same time, Facebook also pushed out a new feature for Android users that allowed for multiple-account support on a single device.

Emerging Tech

Twitter is officially a teenager now. Are we raising a monster?

On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet. Thirteen years later, Twitter has fundamentally changed the way we communicate. Here are some of the myriad ways it's done that.

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.

Scientists wreck a smartphone in a blender, but not just for fun

It’s oddly mesmerizing to watch a smartphone get torn apart inside a blender. Researchers recently did just that in a bid to find out which materials make up a handset, and also to encourage people to think more about recycling.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is minutes away: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.

This $76,000 Grand Seiko watch has something in common with a plug-in hybrid car

How can a watch that costs $76,000 possibly have anything in a common with any car, let alone a plug-in hybrid? It's all about the complex, technically incredible Spring Drive movement inside this Grand Seiko watch.

The excellent Apple iPad gets even deeper price cuts on Amazon

The humble iPad from 2018 is still one of the best tablets around -- and a solid choice for most people. Amazon has seen some great price drops for these tablets recently, and now you can own an iPad for even less than before.

More than a screenshot: How to record the screen on an Android device

If you've ever want to record video of your Android screen, there are plenty of apps that can help. Here's an easy guide on how to record the screen on an Android device with the right settings and apps.

Apple March 2019 Event Coverage

Apple’s next event will take place March 25 at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California at 10 a.m. PT. We’ve got a handy guide on how to watch, but don’t expect to see any new iPads, iMacs, or AirPods at the show, all of…
Product Review

Want to see how powerful the Snapdragon 855 chip is? Just rev up the Xiaomi Mi 9

How fast do you want to go? If the answer to this is “as fast as possible,” then take a long look at the Xiaomi Mi 9. It’s one of the highest performance smartphones you can buy. It’s a real monster, and we’ve been using it.

Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for and start using with your iPhone

Apple is getting into the credit card business. Apple Card is a credit card you can sign up for directly on your iPhone, and it doesn't have fees. There's a lower interest rate and you can even get Daily Cash from all purchases.

Apple Arcade might be the new game subscription service worth signing up for

Apple Arcade will launch this fall bringing a new game-subscription service with cross-platform support for iOS, Mac, and Apple TV. At launch, the service will feature more than 100 exclusive games, with more added to the service regularly.

Check out 22 of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers for your shiny new phone

The iPhone 7 might be attractive, but it’s not rugged. To keep your device in pristine condition, you really need to think about proper protection. That's why we've rounded up some of the best iPhone 7 cases and covers available.