Facebook has been rolling out a ton of new ideas, prototypes, and products at today’s F8 developer conference, and of course that means Facebook Messenger isn’t being left out. The social network giant has just announced a ton of new improvements and features will be making their way to Facebook Messenger sometime very soon.
First and foremost, Messenger is getting a new Discover tab, which will help users find the businesses they’re looking for much easier than before. The Discover tab is rolling out to a few users in the US today, and can be found on the main Messenger home screen. From there, you can find recently-used bots, experience, and a search field. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it should help make your Messenger experience much easier.
Next up is Messenger Codes, which are new parametric QR codes, exclusive to Messenger. Scanning one of these codes will let you find out information about concerts, basketball games, and more from a bot in Messenger. All you need to do is scan the code with your camera in Messenger, and you’ll be given information on that specific topic.
Next, and perhaps most importantly, are the new Chat Extensions. Chat Extensions in Facebook Messenger allow you do things like share the song you’re currently listening to, chat with businesses, and more. For instance, if you’re listening to a new song on Spotify or Apple Music, you can share those tracks directly within the Messenger app without the need to have those music apps installed on your phone. Currently, there are a handful of Chat Extensions available including Spotify, Apple Music, TheScore, OpenTable, Food Network, NBA, The Wall Street Journal, and Kayak. Many more are on the way, too.
Messenger’s AI assistant, M, is now able to let users order food through delivery.com. If you’re chatting with a friend and want to grab something for dinner, M will start by suggesting a place to order food. Facebook says you can complete every step of the process from within Messenger. That means you can select and order your food, and even make a payment. This feature is only available in the U.S. where the service is offered.
If you haven’t yet, be sure to head to the Play Store link below to grab the latest Facebook Messenger update.
Group payment support
April 11: Facebook Messenger now lets you make and receive group payments. To get started, open the Messenger app, pull up a group chat, then tap the plus sign button in the bottom left corner of the conversation. Find the payments icon ($), then tap it. After that, you can then choose who to send or request money from. You can easily select everyone in the group, or select only a few members. Then enter the amount of money you’d like to send or request, specify what the money is for, then tap Request. Easy, right?
“M” comes to Messenger
April 7: Facebook has announced the launch of suggestions in its Messenger app, delivered courtesy of its AI assistant M. This is a big step for the company: M has itself has been in development since 2015, and though all of its features haven’t been finalized yet, its suggestions component is now live.
Live location sharing
March 27: Facebook is now rolling out a Live Location feature on Android and iOS that lets users share where they are with their friends and family in real time. While sharing a static point on a map is convenient if you’re not planning on moving anywhere, Live Location allows your friends and family to view your location in real-time for 60 minutes at a time.
To use it, open the Messenger app, then tap the Location icon. You’ll then see a map of your current location and the option to tap a blue bar to share your location for 60 minutes. You can stop sharing your location at any time by pressing Stop Sharing. You’ll even see how much time you have left to share your Live Location with your friends and family, with a small countdown clock on the screen.
Reactions and Mentions come to Messenger
March 23: Facebook Messenger has gained support for message reactions and mentions. With message reactions, users can now react to an individual message in Messenger, just like how you’d normally use Reactions on Facebook. Mentions, on the other hand, lets users notify a specific member in the group.
Messenger Day starts rolling out
March 9: Facebook has started rolling out Messenger Day worldwide. What is Messenger Day, you ask? Basically, it’s a Snapchat clone that resides as a feature inside Messenger, instead of requiring a whole different app. To make it work, you simply use Messenger’s built-in camera to make a video or take some pictures. You then can add text, cartoon overlays, and other extras. From there, you throw it into a special area called “your Day”. The day can be accessed by either all your friends or select users. After 24 hours, it deletes itself.