More than one billion people use Facebook Messenger every month to stay in touch with family and friends. The app is packed with functionality, which isn’t always obvious. New features, that you might not be aware of, are being rolled out all the time. Check out our tips and tricks below to find out if you’re making the most of Facebook’s popular chat service.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the most recent version of Facebook Messenger, which can easily be done in iOS and Android.
If you’re an iOS user, open the App Store and tap the Updates tab on the far right. Afterward, tap the Update All button in the top-right corner or the Update button directly to the right of Facebook Messenger, if available.
If you’re an Android user, open the Google Play Store and tap the three horizontal lines in the top left. Then, tap My apps & games from the resulting menu and you’ll see a list of possible updates. Find Facebook Messenger and update it as needed, or just tap Update all at the top.
Facebook Messenger basics
How to tell if your message has been read
When you send a message in Facebook Messenger, you can easily tell if it has been read when the other person’s profile picture appears to the bottom right of it. In group conversations, you’ll see multiple profile pictures appear as people read the message.
When you see an open blue circle, it means your message is being sent. An open blue circle with a check mark indicates that your message has been sent. A filled blue circle with a check mark indicates that your message has been delivered, though the recipient may not have read it yet. If you see a small profile picture, then the recipient has read the message. A red triangle indicates that it failed to send. It your message fails, check your Wi-Fi and network connections.
How to make a voice or video call
Did you know that can use Facebook Messenger to make voice or video calls? Simply tap the phone icon in the top-right corner for a normal voice call or the video icon next to it for a video call. This will be free if you’re connected to Wi-Fi, but if you’re on a cellular network, then it’s going to use up some of your data allowance.
How to send an audio message
If the person you want to talk to isn’t there, you can always send an audio message for them to listen to later. All you need to do is tap the microphone icon. Continue pressing on the the red record button to record your message, then release the button to send it.
How to send a new photo or video
If you prefer to send a photo or a video, then tap the camera icon. The entire screen will show the camera view and you can tap to snap a photo or tap and hold to record a video. Once done, simply tap the arrow on the bottom right to send your photo or video. You can also activate special effects and masks by tapping the icon above the shutter button, or switch to the selfie camera with the icon in the top right.
How to send a photo or video from your roll
You can also send photos and videos from your camera roll by tapping the picture icon next to the camera icon. A gallery will pop up and you can scroll through the recent photos and videos and choose which ones you’d like to send. If you want to add a message, or annotate a photo to show off something important, then tap the edit icon (which looks like a pen) before sending. You can also draw atop photos and add text.
How to add a photo or video to your day
Facebook is going after Snapchat with “Messenger Day,” a new feature in Messenger that let’s you share updates with all your friends at once. Those updates, like Snapchat, disappear after 24 hours — so don’t worry too much about getting that perfect filter.
To add something to your Day, open Messenger and select “Add to your day.” Then, take a photo or video, and hit the little arrow key in the bottom right-hand corner. You’ll then choose whether to only add the item to your day, or also send it to your friends and add it to the camera roll.
Using a chatbot
One of Facebook Messenger’s best and most innovative new features is the inclusion of chatbots, which are basically algorithms that you can interact with instead of talking to an actual human. This is helpful for customer service situations, but it can also be helpful for things like getting news and weather updates.
You can search for a bot directly in the “to” field of a new message, and once you find one you’ll be able to select options from menus and ask questions.
Emoji tricks, GIFs, and Stickers
How to resize your Thumbs-Up
One of the quickest and easiest ways to respond to a message is to tap the blue thumbs-up icon. But did you know that you can tap and hold on it to make it grow? Now you can make your thumbs-ups as big as you’d like.
If you don’t like or use the thumbs up icon, then you can choose another emoji to replace it. In a conversation, tap the top right “i” icon. Next, tap on Emoji and choose your favorite — you’ll be able to enlarge this emoji just like the thumbs up icon.
How to add a GIF
Some pictures are worth a thousand words, and GIFs can be ideal for conveying how you feel. Thankfully, Facebook Messenger taps into various GIF search engines to get you the perfect result. To add a GIF to your conversation, just tap the emoji icon in the textbox, tap GIFs and search for something. Tap the GIF you want to send, and that’s it.
How to add a sticker
If you want to send a sticker in a message, then tap the smiley face icon. The stickers are divided into sections, but you can enter specific terms to narrow the search results. When you find the one you want, just tap on it to send it. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, then you can tap the plus icon on the right to peruse the sticker store and get more options.
How to send balloons
If you open the emoticons and choose the lightbulb icon, you’ll find a balloon emoticon, which will trigger an animated burst of balloons for your recipient when you send it. You’ll also see the animation when you tap send.
How to send random cat pics
For cat lovers, there’s an easy shortcut to adorable feline pics. Just type “@dailycute” into the text field and hit send, and you’ll see a random cat pic pop up in the message thread.