By Mike Timmermann, clarkhoward.com
Facebook Messenger just hit a major milestone: One billion users around the world use the app every month. But if you think the app is just about chat, there’s so much you’re missing out on.
Here’s a list of things to know about the Facebook Messenger features you might not have tried out before!
10 things you may not know about Facebook Messenger
ou don’t need a Facebook account
While having a Facebook account does make communicating through Facebook Messenger quite a bit easier, you don’t need one to sign up.
Download the app and click “Not on Facebook?” to get started. You’ll just need a phone number.
And did you know there’s a way to access your Facebook Messenger account on desktop without logging in to Facebook? Just go toMessenger.com for a less cluttered experience.
Facebook has started to test one-on-one secret conversations in Facebook Messenger, which are encrypted end-to-end and can only be read on one device.
“That means the messages are intended just for you and the other person — not anyone else, including us,” Facebook said in ablog post.
Secret conversations allow people to send messages, pictures and stickers. You can also set a timer and have your messages disappear.
Follow these steps to start a secret conversation:
- Open a conversation with someone
- Tap their name at the top of the conversation
- Tap Secret Conversation
- If you want, set a timer to make the messages disappear
If you feel left out because your friends with iPhones are always on FaceTime, Facebook Messenger has its own video calling feature that supports Android and iOS devices.
And if a face-to-face isn’t necessary, you can always use the voice calling feature.
Send and receive money
If a family member or friend owes you money, the payments feature lets you send and receive money right over the app for free. It does require that you link a debit card, but you can add a PIN for additional security.
Users can also set up login approvals on their account for another layer of protection.
Through bots, Facebook Messenger gives its users the ability to communicate directly with businesses over the messaging service without having to download any other apps.
For example, you can order from 1-800-FLOWERS over chat, never having to call them!
How do you find these bots? Within Facebook Messenger, type the name of the business you’re looking for in the search bar and the results will show under “Bots and Businesses.”
You can also check out Botlist, which has a mega-list of bots for many platforms.
Order an Uber or Lyft
In addition to sharing your location with someone, you can hail an Uber or Lyft directly from the Facebook Messenger app. Once in a conversation, look for the tiny car at the bottom of the screen.
Like chess? Type “@fbchess play” into a chat conversation and press send to get lost in a game of chess with one of your friends.
And to play the hidden basketball game, find the basketball emoji, send it and click on the emoji. We should warn you that this game is addictive.
This guy explains how a ruler can help you get a higher score:
Access your secret inbox
There’s a chance that Facebook Messenger isn’t sending you all of your messages, especially if people you’re not friends with are contacting you.
Unlock them by going to Settings > People > Message Requests and click “See filtered messages.”
One of the cool features about Facebook Messenger is that it allows group chats, but sometimes the constant stream of messages can get annoying.
To mute the conversation for a specified time, highlight the conversation (or swipe left) and select mute.
How to know if someone read your message
When you send a text message, it can be really frustrating not knowing if the other person has read it. But with Facebook Messenger, there’s no need to speculate.
Just look for a small version of your contact’s photo to know they’ve seen it.
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