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Facebook Messenger app gets read receipts and locations features; ignoring people just got harder

May 7, 2012

For those that can’t resist the lure of profile hopping on Facebook, there’s a stand-alone Facebook Messenger app that still allows you to engage in conversation with your Facebook friends, without the usual distractions. In a bid to become the messaging platform of choice, Facebook has updated its Messenger app for both Android and iOS, bringing them closer to competing platforms, in terms of looks and functionality.

The updated mobile Messenger application now comes with a “read receipts” feature, which lets you see whether the messages you send to your friends have been read or not. Since it works both ways, this feature may lead to that awkward moment when you can no longer lie about not receiving or reading messages from people you’re actively ignoring. In addition to the read receipts, there’s now a real-time typing indicator showing the name of the person who is typing to you.

Next, Facebook has updated the Messenger app so that it shows your location to your friends, making use of the rather specific GPS coordinates that most modern smartphones can give out. You’ll see the place from where the messages you received were sent right on the main screen.

These are two handy features for stalkers, but might prove downright creepy for others. Although you can turn off the location feature on the updated Facebook Messenger app, which is especially useful for people who want to maintain some privacy, the message receipt feature can’t be turned off at all.  Hide all you want from your friends, but they’ll still see if you’ve read their messages or not.

Since the update hasn’t made its way to the main Facebook app yet, you can use that one instead for the time being. But Facebook plans to roll out the new changes to the main app in the near future as well.