GT Explains: The Evolution of Facebook Messenger as a Platform

Facebook today is now a giant in the social media arena. Facebook’s Messenger is also a giant but in a different way. It started off as an extension to Facebook’s website but now it is its own entity and used by many for messaging on their mobile phones.

FB Messenger Evolves | Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com
FB Messenger Evolves | Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock

Messenger has grown to a point now where it has around 900 million users. Over the years, several great features have been added. It may even be the case that there are many features that you are not aware of. For that reason, we will be exploring the various features which Messenger has to offer.

What Messenger Has to Offer

Did you know that Messenger has its own web client? Point your browser to messenger.com to try it out.

messenger.com

In addition to sending text-based messages, you can also make video and voice calls with Messenger. Voice calling is also available within group chats.

fbcalling

Users also have the ability to share their location on mobile devices. Simply tap on the 3 dots in the vicinity of the text input area and you will be able to select Location from there. This is useful for giving directions.

messengerlocation

Clicking on the information icon within a chat offers users a variety of options. The two which stand out the most, however, are the ability to add nicknames as well as the ability to change the color of a contact’s chat window.

messengernamescolors

On Android devices, users have the ability to add their favorite contacts as shortcuts on their home screens. Simply press and hold on a contact and a menu will pop up presenting several options including the ability to create a shortcut.

messenger-shortcut

You can also edit a photo from directly within the chat interface which can come in handy. You will need to select the photo you wish to use and then hit the edit button.

messengereditphoto

You also get the ability to draw and add text to your photos.

messengerdraw

It is also possible to integrate Messenger with several third party apps. Press the 3 dots in the vicinity of the text input area and you will be able to choose from a variety of apps whose functionality can be blended with that of Messenger.

Note: You will need to install the apps separately in order for this feature to work.

messengerapps

Like I mentioned before, Messenger is now a separate entity from the Facebook website. In line with this, a Facebook account is no longer required in order for people to use the app. If you are on a mobile phone, you can sign up using your phone number.

messengerchoice.png messenger-number.png

Finally, Messenger can do a whole bunch of random stuff! You can play basketball for instance by sending a basketball emoticon in chat and then tapping on it.

messengerhoops

You can even play chess! To begin playing a game, send @fbchess within a chat. You will only be able to use the pieces using text input, however.

fbchess1

As if that wasn’t enough sending @dailycute within a chat, provides the receiving person with a surprise in the form of a random cute animal!

messengerrandomcute

Conclusion

Messenger has really evolved and offers layers of functionality. There are so many things that it can do in addition to its text, voice and video chat functionalities. You will notice the different sizes and slightly different appearances of some of the screenshots.

This is another plus for messenger. I took some of them using my Android device and some of them with my iPad in order to illustrate that the functionality that Messenger offers is generally uniform across platforms.

There are clearly many cool things which you can do with Messenger these days. So what are you waiting for? Go try them out and let us know what you think.

ALSO READ: How to Enhance Your FB Messenger Experience with Chatbots

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