Facebook, the widely used and acclaimed social media outlet, created the standalone app, Messenger. Though it was initially launched in 2011, only recently has Facebook been forcing users to download it rather than using the Facebook app itself. Though many Facebook users were disgruntled about downloading a separate app, Messenger has many perks users are unaware of. If anything, Messenger connects the user to all of their contacts instantly. This makes it the most convenient messaging app out there. Facebook users are fairly familiar with the messaging feature, but are they familiar with the Messenger app and the many hacks that can be applied? With so much more to do, we want to introduce the 10 best Messenger hacks to help you utilize the app’s full potential.
Messaging apps have taken over the medium of communication. Gone are the days when texting was the go-to way of getting in touch with someone. With phone numbers changing consistently and our network of friends reaching beyond borders, making international rates something to avoid, it is no wonder why many choose a messaging app as a constant, reliable source of communication. Not only does Messenger make it possible to connect with your backpacking buddy from Australia for free, but there is a broad spectrum of tools to use to brighten up any conversation. No matter who you are talking to, one of these hacks can be used. Be careful; the more you use, the cooler your friends may think you are and the cooler you are, the more messages you will have to answer. Use at your own risk.
- Play Games
For all the gamers out there who find it easier to connect with someone over a game rather than meaningless small talk, Messenger is the app of communication for you. There are hidden games that can be unlocked only by using secret codes. If one of your conversations has dropped and there is no where else to go but goodbye, why not surprise your friend (or crush) with a football or basketball game? That will keep the conversation going and now you’ll have something else to talk about, competition. Here are the various games that can be played and how to unlock them:
- Soccer: Send a soccer emoji and then click on it. When the game appears, tap the ball and keep it off the ground. The longer you keep it up, the better your score, but also, the harder the game gets.
- Basketball: Similar to the soccer game, send your friend the basketball emoji and then click on it. Swipe your finger on the basketball toward the basket and try to score as many shots in a row as possible.
- Chess: This one is a little more complicated. Type @fbchess play into your chat window and the chess board will appear. Instead of being able to move the pieces with a touch of the finger, you have to continue to type codes with your moves. Each piece has its own code: K for King, Q for Queen, B for Bishop, N for Knight, R for Rook and P for Pawn. If you want to move your Pawn to D6, type @fbchess Pd6.
- Hitch a Ride with Uber
Has your friend just messaged you about meeting up for coffee? You said yes, but forgot your brother is borrowing your car. Within the same message, you can quickly book an Uber ride to get to your coffee date without switching applications or worse, having to call a cab. Here’s how:
- Tap the car icon or the “…” at the bottom of the chat window and select transportation
- If you haven’t signed up for Uber, you can sign up with Messenger quickly
- Current Uber users can connect their existing account in Messenger
- Start requesting rides in any conversation
- I Owe You
Not everyone carries cash around with them nowadays, making it difficult to settle bills and even more so, paying someone back. Messenger is another alternative to Paypal to makes this simple. Simply click on the “…” in the chat window and select Payments. Enter your account details and voila, no more guilt. There are also themes you can use to make your transactions a little fancier. Just swipe left and scroll through the various themes to compliment the reason for the transaction. Forgot to give someone a birthday gift, send them birthday money along with the cupcake theme. Or thank your friends for covering the bar tab last night by sending them money with the wine bottle theme. Sending money doesn’t have to be dull.
- Give a Gif
Can’t find the right words to use in reaction to a friend’s embarrassing story? Messenger supports a large selection of Gifs meaning there are many to choose from to appropriately convey what you are feeling. These animations will wake up the conversation and are a sure fire way to make your friends laugh. Tap on the Gif icon in the chat window and type a desired word into the text box. This will help narrow your search and help you find the perfect Gif.
- Video Calling
We can’t deny it, as much as messaging is a great way to communicate, sometimes words are not enough. A little face to face interaction is probably the best way to cure homesickness, reveal news about an engagement or tell your loved one you are coming home soon. Many users have a Skype account, but you can eliminate the step of asking for their Skype username and quickly send them a video call straight away through Messenger. Tap on the video icon on the top right corner of the chat window and the video call will start in seconds.
- Mute the Noise of Group Chats
Ever been deeply frustrated when you are forced into a group chat you have no particular interest being in? The notifications of new messages are never ending. Without leaving the group and letting everyone involved know you have left (traitor), you can mute the notifications. Out of sight, out of mind.
To do this, click and hold down on the group message name. A screen will pop up with a list of demands. Choose Mute Notifications. Another screen will pop up asking how long you would like the mute notification for that conversation. The best option — Until I turn it back on.
- Block Someone
We all know one person we wish would stop sending messages. Even if you don’t reply, they don’t seem to get the hint. Probably the best way to deal with these Stage 5 Clingers is to just block them. It’s not mean, it is necessary.
Blocking is easy. Our conscience doesn’t make it so, but Messenger does. All you have to do is click on the info icon in the top right corner of the chat window, scroll down the pop up menu to the bottom and click Block. You will then be asked to either block only messages or block them directly on Facebook. That is up to you to decide!
- Share Location
As a precursor to #9, you can send your friend your current location before they book an Uber ride to meet you. Save your friend the trouble of finding the location of that no name café and just send them the location yourself.
Tap on the “…” icon in the toolbar and click on Location. You will receive a message with a blue pin asking for permission for Messenger to access your location. Click Turn On. A map will appear with your location. Now, just click the send icon. Your friend should have no problem finding you
- Edit Photos
Snapchat has the fun flare of being able to doodle and write over photos. Did you know Messenger has the same ability? If you want to draw devil horns on that horrible ex or write a beautiful motivational quote over a scenic landscape, Messenger can aid you in this. When you select a photo to send, two icons will appear, a pencil icon and the send icon. Before sending, select the pencil icon. This will enable you to either draw on the image using various colors or if you click on the Aa icon, you can write whatever text you please.
- Enlarge your Like
Because we all know the most recognized Facebook icon is the Like symbol, why not make it that much better by making it that much larger? Yes, like supersizing your Mario in Super Mario, you can supersize your “thumbs-up”. Bigger is better, after all.
Hold down the like button and watch it grow the size of King Kong. Obviously, your friends need an ego boost and what better way to give it than a giant thumb with bug crushing abilities. If only there were a giant thumbs-down (dislike) button to make those unwanted users stop messaging. Guess that is what blocking is for (see #4).
With so much to do in one messaging app, it is easy to see why Messenger is one of the best. From gaming to Uber to video calling, Messenger seems to have it all. Those are the 10 best Messenger hacks we have compiled, but we know there could be more. Feel free to share your experiences with these hacks or share your own in the comment section below.