The free messaging app from Facebook
Messenger is a social media messaging tool that allows for instant messaging, voice calls, and video calls to people on the Facebook platform. It’s a chat app with fun and creative features, which means getting together to talk is easier and has more opportunities for you to express yourself.
Reach out instantly
Since Messenger is free, you can send as many messages you want. It relies on data or Wifi to send the messages, which means that they don’t come out of a cellular plan for minutes and texts. The app is predominantly a way to communicate with your friends on Facebook. You can tap the message button in the main app to launch Messenger or search your contacts in the chat app to start a conversation.
When you open the app, any existing conversations will be listed on the screen, so you can pick up where you left off. The app works through notifications, so you can see when you get a message, although this feature can be muted for each existing conversation. You can mute for short amounts of time or until you turn them back on.
Like other popular chat apps, including Whatsapp, you can see the status of other users and your status is shown to them. A green dot is used to indicate who is online, and you can see the time in minutes since someone was active. There is also a function to turn this off if you want to go undisturbed while you check something.
More than just chat
Messenger has several features that go beyond sending texts or messages to friends. You can send voice notes, which is useful if you aren’t able to type at that moment or want to hear the voice of someone far away. You can also send photos and videos, both of which can be edited with filters, text, and fun effects.
You don’t need someone’s phone number to connect on Messenger, you just need to respond to their message request or be friends with them on Facebook. Once you are connected, you can make voice and video calls. The connection is smooth over WiFi but can vary when using a 3G or 4G connection.
The theme of your chats can be changed, and you can put the app in dark mode, which is helpful for avoiding bright screens in darker environments. You can also respond to messages with stickers, emojis, and GIFs, which add to the range of the ways you can express yourself. The app lets you display Facebook Stories and view them from your friends, too.
Social and utility
One of the most popular uses of the app is the group chats. Messenger is a great way to get everyone together. You can react to other people’s messages with different emojis, and reply to a specific message if the chain of conversation has moved on. You can add several people to one group, and have group calls and video calls.
The group app has a number of features that can be used to bring people together offline. This can be achieved by creating a poll to organize a date to meet, or by sharing your location, so you can gather at a cafe or bar in your town. You can engage in several ways, including challenging friends to a game.
It isn’t only friends you can contact using Messenger. Since businesses operate on Facebook, you can message a company about tickets to an event, or to resolve a query, or even about job prospects. It is also a useful tool for Facebook marketplace, as you can message sellers about the items they are offering.
Alternative ways to chat
The Messenger app is a great way to communicate with Facebook friends, but it isn’t the only tool that lets you chat and make calls. There are alternatives that could meet your needs if you don’t want this particular social media app or don’t get along with its set up.
One alternate way to get in touch with others, is through Whatsapp. It syncs with your phone number, so anyone else with the app in your contacts list will appear as a possible connection. It has many of the same features as Messenger, but without the social media aspect. It works using an Internet connection, which makes it great for messaging or calling anyone anywhere in the world.
While very much the same as Messenger, many users choose to connect with others on Messenger Lite. The full version of the app can put a lot of demand on your smartphone. For those with older devices or less space the simplified version is easy to use and doesn’t ask as much of your battery, data or processor.
An app that has grown popular thanks to its encryption and ability to send messages to non-user is Signal Private Messenger. You don’t need to set up an account, but the consequence is that you can’t view your messages on multiple devices. It is simple to use and acts as a good replacement for SMS.
Fully functional and fun
Facebook Messenger is an intuitive app that is easy to use. The wide variety of features mean that you can chat one on one, or bring a group together. It is more than messaging, as calls and video calls work well between friends, too. The social aspect of the app is apparent throughout, which makes it an understandable go-to when it comes to making plans.
The latest update has created three different tabs in the app. You can now see your chats, see people that are online or in your friend’s list, and discover games, brands and much more. The update also included new color gradients to customize your chat.
Messenger Rooms is a new FB Messenger feature that will allow you to create a room so that anyone invited will be able to join a video call. Up to 50 people will be able to attend with no time limit. Facebook has created this feature to compete with other apps such as Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft teams, so why don't you give it a try?