Facebook Messenger may soon get some new features including one potential game-changer

by: John DyeFebruary 11, 2016
2.3K

Facebook Messenger

It wasn’t too long ago that some users discovered that Facebook has been playing around with a Material Design revamp of their popular messaging app. But it seems like the social sultan isn’t stopping at aesthetics. The Facebook Messenger team is playing around with several new features, but only a handful of test users are seeing the changes right now.

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First off, it looks like Messenger is getting the ability to support multiple accounts in-app. This comes on the heels of Instagram, a social media service also owned by Facebook, doing the same with their app. With these changes, users who have more than one Facebook account (for whatever reason) will be able to swap back and forth between their identities with just a couple of taps.

messenger multiple accounts

Source: Android Police

Second, it looks like they are playing around with SMS/MMS integration. Now, long ago in the Before Times, Messenger actually had the ability to support SMS and MMS messages, but Facebook wound up ripping the feature out because nobody was really using it. However, 2016 is a very different battleground for messaging apps, with several contenders competing to be the one messaging service to rule them all.

messenger sms2

Source: Android Police. SMS messages appear in purple, and SMS conversations are separated from Messenger conversations.

Google Hangouts boldly integrated text messaging with their service, but it wound up not being as flexible and reliable as dedicated SMS/MMS platforms, and now it appears that they will soon be deactivating this feature. As it stands, Facebook has a pretty strong corner on the messaging market with both WhatsApp and Messenger topping global usage charts. If Messenger can effectively implement texting capabilities and pull users away from awesome dedicated apps like Textra, it might just be on its way to becoming the world’s default text communication service.

Which brings us to the Game Changer. Are you ready? Messenger may be receiving… blue Action and Status bars to replace the current ones. Boom.

messenger sms

Source: Android Police

Nah, I’m just kidding. Although it’s true that blue bars appear to be in the works, the big news here was the SMS integration, of course. Currently, only select users are seeing these changes, and there’s no way to toggle them on or off. Facebook appears to be field-testing all of these features to gauge user experience before they finalize any changes.

What are your thoughts regarding these potential upcoming alterations to Messenger? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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  • moew

    Messenger already sucks the life out of batteries. So it’s going to suck the life out of your phone twice as fast now?

    • justin

      doesnt kill my battery

    • Buy a new phone!

    • Chris

      Doesn’t for me

      • Bryan

        You don’t notice it until you go without the fb or messenger app honestly.

  • alex

    LOL! For a minute there I seriously thought you really meant it about the “game changer” =)

  • Karl Dagenais

    I love Messenger much more than I love Hangouts. I mean, hangouts is fine and all, but now that Messenger also has video calling… everybody uses it, which isn’t the case with Hangouts.

    If they can integrate SMS in a similar fashion to iMessage, I’m in.

  • Christian Baumler

    Yeah, all I ever hear is that Facebook and their messaging app just kill batteries, and that is why I do not have either of them on my phone. I personally just like the Google Messenger app that comes stock with my Nexus. It is simple, but I like it that way.

    • justin

      doesnt kill my phone battery

    • Chris

      Nexus. A phone for nerds

  • Tjaldid

    Actually looks allot cleaner in blue

  • They can add all the bells and whistles they want, it will never go back on my phone!!

    • Chris

      It will.

  • Grahaman27

    I have sms capability now. I tried it and switched back to textra because I like it separate more.

  • Soryuu

    I have mutiple account support… Not that I have another account to use it with

  • Roswag

    It was really weird, but I had the material design show up on my phone for a couple days. And then it left, mysteriously as it came…

  • Apparently I have this capability now that you point it out. SMS is cool because you can have the chat bubble for SMS convos now. I don’t use the multiple accounts feature. Material blue bar is awesome though.

    • ichuck7

      How can you tell?

  • Choda Boy

    LOL, I’m not going to let Facebook access (and read) and of my normal text messages. NO.

    • Chris

      Yet you allow google so they can sell you ads?

  • justin

    I can’t wait i Love the Messanger App

  • EasyCare

    Quit the stupid “game-changer” features. If they can make it RAM and battery-friendly I’d call it INNOVATION!

  • ichuck7

    I was so sad when messenger removed the ability to text. I can’t wait to see it come back. The messenger chat heads is probably one of the biggest reasons I don’t like the iPhone.

  • anvesh dommeti

    I got material design, multiple accounts updates. But don’t see SMS option….

    • Dusan

      Heard they are testing it.

    • Michael Smith

      My friend has the sms feature. I’m jealous

  • Yash

    Honestly, the blue bars part is better than the sms news, I have never liked the idea of merging the apps.

  • Jason Anderson

    Disa already does everything I could ask for, which includes Facebook messenger and sms. No battery drain either

  • could you make test conversation instead bluring every single image? it’s pointless to show hidden things lol

  • Gowri Sankar

    All they need is a one damn log out button!

  • neonix

    These changes look awesome. I can’t wait.

    It’s really great to see they’re working on bringing SMS back. Although I absolutely love Textra, it would be amazing to have Messenger’s chat heads for SMS conversations. A feature worth losing other features for, but hopefully they don’t skimp on the SMS options.

    I just wonder if they’ll be saving your SMS conversations on their servers. If I had to predict, I’d guess they will and then there will be a bunch of backlash until they finally introduce an opt-out option.

  • Ismail Koka

    Looks fine to me.. I like that blue bar thing, because I have an auto-tinting status bar and keyboard so that would make my phone looks more beautiful while using messenger instead of the ugly black and white I’m getting in both of them now.

  • Annonymous

    What? The bar has been blue for the last couple months.

  • David D. Stanton

    It’s getting more and more annoying. I’m using hangouts more and more because farcebook can’t get their heads out of their arses.