Social media behemoth Facebook is beginning to realize the power of ‘multimedia’ messaging, i.e., communicating via voice, video and pictures, besides text. This is evident from the fact that the latest update on the Facebook Messenger brings in a lot of features which allow you to indulge better in the aforementioned ‘multimedia’ method of connecting.
Using Facebook Messenger
The Facebook Messenger app is as straightforward as any other IM client out there. As usual, you only have to log in once, after which you can chat away to glory without ever having to re-enter your credentials (unless you change your password or add a new account).
The app now comes with support for video sharing and instant camera access. Critics have gone as far as to suggest that Facebook is trying to eliminate what it couldn’t buy – the uber popular Snapchat.
Swiping down refreshes the chat list, as on any other Android app. However, the gesture is quite smooth and assisted with some cool sounds that will make you want to refresh the chat list again and again. Not that this is a revolutionary feature, a nice touch nonetheless.
As always, you can choose to link your phone number to the Facebook Messenger app. This will allow others in you contact list (and not only your Facebook friends) to find you, and therefore indulge in chat. As you can see from the screenshot above, you can enable/disable location settings, notification settings, and the awesome chat heads feature.
New methods of communication
As you can see on the screenshot above, the app now allows you to access your phones camera (pictures; selfies, if you like), photo reel (any existing picture from your phone’s gallery), stickers (flat, 2D, computer generated images) and lastly, microphone (to record voice).
This is the first time that the Facebook Messenger is offering support for video sharing; until now, it was only still images that you could share with your buddies. The fact that WhatsApp (now a Facebook subsidiary) users share 100 million videos per day on an average perhaps has something to do with this feature introduction, we feel.
Sharing emotions with Stickers
A persistent search bar now appears on the recent conversations tab, which lets you quickly look up for a particular contact without having to move from screen to screen. Stickers, as you would notice, get some extra attention and it looks as though Facebook thinks they’re the next big thing after emoji.
Not only that, you can even download a sticker pack that catches your fancy without having to leave the conversation window. When someone sends you a sticker, you can tap on it to download the corresponding pack then and there.
Groups can now be created then and there – you do not have to be on the computer to create a group.
The app actually comes with a tab, second from left, which is reserved only for groups. This really goes to show how seriously the Facebook Messenger wants you to chat with your buddies (multiple) using the app. The group creation process will remind you of how its done on WhatsApp; Facebook seems to have taken cue from its newest purchase.
Sharing your ‘selfies’ is easier than ever before
Besides stickers, the Facebook Messenger also gives in to the rising demand for a selfie-compatible messaging app; although there are a tonne other apps which can deliver your carefully clicked selfies, hardly any offer the ease of use as the Facebook Messenger. Touching the camera icon while in conversation opens up the viewfinder on the lower half of the screen, allowing you to glimpse a section of your ongoing conversation while you indulge in clicking a selfie.
The Facebook Messenger app is clearly tending to a standalone chat app and not only something that compliments the largest social network in the world. Are you a user of the Facebook Messenger? Do you like the update? Let us know in the comments section below.