Facebook is adding color filters, animated reactions, and even more masks and effects to Messenger video chats.
I use Facebook Messenger’s video chatting feature more than I care to admit, and although I am usually critical of Facebook’s brazen copying of Snapchat, I do think its implementation of AR effects in video calling is a job well done. Well, good news for those who share my opinion: the social network giant is expanding that and adding even more features to make video chat “more fun.”
The first addition should look familiar: you can now “react” while you’re video chatting someone, and each emotion will animate onto the screen and then disappear. You have the same five emoji icons – love, haha, wow, sad, and angry – but the company says that most reactions will have different animations depending on whether your face is on the screen or not.
You can also tweak the lighting or even the color of your entire screen with the new filter feature. Click the paint drop icon and you’ll be able to live preview every filter, ranging from subtle changes to your skin tone to bold color changes like red and yellow.
Another new feature coming to Facebook Messenger video chats is the ability to easily screenshot your video chats and share them with others. Tap the camera icon, and it’ll take a screenshot of your chat whether it’s one-on-one or a group chat. Right after it captures the screen, it’ll give you an option to either delete or share it without requiring you to exit the video chat screen. So no more awkward holding-multiple-buttons-nonsense to get blurry screenshots of your crew.
Even more masks
Masks are essentially Facebook Messenger’s take on Snapchat’s face filters. Much like Snapchat, some masks have hidden effects that react to your facial movements. They’ve been around for some time now, but Facebook has added a lot more masks and effects like falling hearts and twinkling stars. You can tap on the star icon to access all available effects.
The update is rolling out as we speak, so check and see if your Messenger app is the latest version.
Facebook Messenger getting a UI change
May 19: With the latest update, the company has reorganized the Messenger interface to make it easier to connect with friends and catch up on what you’ve missed. Across the top of the landing page, you’ll now find tabs for your “active” friends, messages and groups, while at the bottom, you’ll see buttons for the home screen, calls, camera, games and contacts. Essentially, all of the main areas are now just a tap or swipe away.
Facebook Messenger Instant Games
May 2: Facebook begins rolling out Instant Games globally, including the ability to weave in leaderboards/tournaments, add players via threads, use Game Bots and more. Words With Friends is among the first games to take advantage of these features. EverWing will also be updated with the new capabilities, and 8 Ball Pool will soon be added as a new title.
Facebook Messenger gains chat extensions, M improvements and more
April 18: Facebook’s F8 developer conference brought plenty of news and Messenger obviously didn’t stay behind. The social network announced a new Discover tab, Messenger Codes, Chat Extensions and M improvements. One can now do things like share songs, order food from a chat, find business information with a QR code and more.
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.