Free video and voice calls
Facebook Messenger is a social media application that allows Facebook users to directly message their friends and family. Like SMS texts, Messenger allows users to send messages, photos, videos and more, outside of the standard Facebook app. Unlike SMS, however, Messenger doesn’t require a text plan, instead using an internet connection to send the messages.
Prior to 2017, a Facebook account was required to use the Messenger app, but these requirements no longer exist. Instead, a Messenger account can be created by using your phone number to register. A unique code is sent to users to confirm their account.
In order to send and receive messages with Messenger, an internet connection is required. This can be done through a Wifi connection or by using your mobile data plan. When not connected to the internet, the application cannot be utilized.
Though Messenger can provide encrypted messaging, it isn’t turned on automatically. In order to enable end-to-end encryption, users must tap the new conversation icon at the top right of the screen, then tap “Secret”.
In addition to standard text messaging available in Messenger, it’s also capable of sending and receiving voice and video calls, similar to that of FaceTime and Skype. The function uses VoIP (Voiceover Internet Protocol) technology to perform calls and requires an internet connection.
Like a standard Facebook account, Messenger is a free application available on most popular mobile platforms. Downloading and installing can be done through official app stores.
The Messenger application itself cannot translate messages written in other languages, however, Google Translate installed on Android devices can translate texts in both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
When downloading and installing the Messenger application, your mobile phone or tablet will likely ask for permission to access your contacts or address book. This is so that the app can suggest users to interact with who also have the application downloaded. It will also ask for permission to use your microphone in order to make voice and video calls, as well as permission to send push notifications.
“Active Now” appears when a contact is currently using some form of Facebook, whether the Messenger app or the full standard app. When users are active, they’re more likely to see your messages sooner since they’ve got the application open.
While the application itself doesn’t take up much storage space on your smartphone, it will require heavy data usage when performing certain tasks. Voice and video calls over your network, for example, use much more data than sending text messages. This can be eased by connecting to Wifi when it’s available. Sending and receiving GIFS, videos and photos also require more data than a standard text.