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

The Facebook Messenger team is playing around with several new features, but only a handful of test users are seeing the changes right now.

Published onFebruary 11, 2016

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.

Did you know you can play chess in Facebook Messenger?

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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