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20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks you may not know

Come discover Facebook Messenger's hidden gems!
By

Published onSeptember 4, 2023

Facebook Messenger on phone stock phoro 1

Everyone and their mom is on Facebook, so it should come as no surprise that Facebook Messenger is the third most popular messaging app globally. With 931 million monthly active users, the app is only beaten by WhatsApp (2 billion) and WeChat (1.31 million). Since so many of you are using Facebook Messenger, we figured it would be fun to give you some tips and tricks we know you’ll enjoy. And if you’re not using it yet, you can easily download the Facebook Messenger app for Android or iOS for free.

20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks:

Editor’s note: All instructions on this list of Facebook Messenger tips and tricks were created using a Google Pixel 7 running Android 13. Steps might differ from device to device, especially if you’re using another mobile OS. We also used an Apple iPhone 12 Mini running iOS 17.0 to ensure the steps are the same. We will create separate instructions if they aren’t.


You can use nicknames!

You don’t need to look at serious, official names all the time. Facebook Messenger makes it easy to set nicknames on your contacts.

How to change a Messenger nickname on Android:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Hit the i icon on the top-right corner of the conversation.
  4. Select Nicknames.
  5. Select the contact you want to give a nickname to.
  6. Type the nickname.
  7. Select Set.

How to change a Messenger nickname on iPhone:

  1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Tap on Nicknames.
  5. Select the person you want to change the nickname for.
  6. Make your changes and hit Save.

Mute conversations

As much as you love your friends and family, they can get too chatty. I mute conversations when I need to focus on something or can’t be looking at messages every few seconds.

How to mute someone on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Hit the i icon on the top-right corner of the conversation.
  4. Select Mute.
  5. Select what kind of notifications you want to mute.
  6. Tap OK.
  7. Select how long you want to mute the conversation.
  8. Tap OK.

How to mute someone on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Hit the Mute option.
  5. Select how long you want to mute the person for.

Change conversation colors

Color coding your conversation can make it easier to identify contacts and give each chat a personal touch.

How to change the color of a conversation on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Hit the i icon on the top-right corner of the conversation.
  4. Select Theme.
  5. Change your theme or color.

How to change the color of a conversation on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Go into Theme.
  5. Change your theme or color.

Turn on Dark Mode

Dark Mode will not only make Facebook Messenger look cooler, but if you have a phone with an AMOLED screen, it can also save battery. It’s also easier on the eyes when chatting it up in the dark.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Tap on the three-line menu button in the top-left corner.
  3. Hit the gear icon.
  4. Tap on Dark Mode.
  5. Select On.

Use Facebook Messenger without an account!

You can no longer officially use your phone number instead of a Facebook account for Messenger. Still, there is a workaround for using the popular chat app without getting too tied up with the social network. It requires signing up temporarily, though. Here’s the workaround.

Create an account:

  1. Using a browser, go to Facebook.com and select Create new account.
  2. Fill up the boxes with your info and tap on Sign Up.
  3. Confirm your email or phone number.
  4. This process can also be done through the Facebook app.

Access Facebook Messenger:

  1. Download Facebook Messenger from your app store (Google Play Store, Apple App Store).
  2. Open Messenger.
  3. Sign in to your account.

Deactivate your account:

  1. On your browser, log in to your Facebook account.
  2. Click the Profile icon at the top right.
  3. Hit Settings & privacy.
  4. Pick Settings.
  5. Click on the Meta Accounts Center section.
  6. Select the Personal details tab.
  7. Go into Account ownership and control.
  8. Hit the Deactivation or deletion option.
  9. Select the Facebook account you want to deactivate.
  10. Click on Deactivate account and hit Continue.
  11. Follow instructions. You will eventually be asked for your password. Enter it and hit Continue again.
  12. Continue following instructions until you get the option to Deactivate my account.

Use Messenger.com to chat from any browser

Facebook Messenger web

Whether you are at work, in a meeting, or prefer using your computer to chat, Messenger.com is an excellent substitute for the official apps or Facebook page. Head over to Messenger.com to catch up on your convos.


Send audio messages

Audio messages are available for those times when typing a long message is too annoying.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Find the microphone next to the text box.
  4. Tap and hold the microphone icon while talking. Let go when finished.
  5. You can also tap on the microphone without holding it. The microphone will be activated, and you can talk your feelings out. Tap on the Send button when done. You can also tap on the trash icon to cancel the voice message.

Can you use Facebook Messenger as your SMS app?

Facebook removed Messenger’s ability to send and receive SMS messages as of September 2023. We’re leaving this section here as a public service announcement for some time.


Send your location

Sending your location to a friend is much easier than explaining where you are.

How to send your location on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap on the four-dot menu button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Select Location.
  5. If you want to pinpoint a specific location, press the location button in the bottom-right corner.
  6. Select your location of preference and select Send Location.
  7. You can also tap on the Start Sharing Live Location button to give someone real-time access.

How to send your location on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Launch the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open a conversation.
  3. Tap on the + icon.
  4. If you want to pinpoint a specific location, press the location button in the bottom-right corner.
  5. Select your location of preference and select Send location.
  6. You can also tap on the Start sharing live location button to give someone real-time access.

Make voice and video calls on Facebook Messenger

This may seem like a basic feature, but I have met plenty of people who didn’t know it existed. To start a voice or video call, follow the following steps.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. On the top-right corner, you will see phone and video camera icons.
  4. The phone icon is for making audio calls. The video camera icon is for making video calls.
  5. These options are also available if you tap on the i menu.

React to messages

You don’t need to type out a whole message to let your friends know how you feel about something they wrote.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Find the message you want to react to.
  4. Press and hold on to the message. A series of reactions to choose from will show up. Select your favorite one.

Reply to a specific message

Conversations can get heated and cover multiple topics very quickly. Sometimes you respond to questions way too late, or answer to various messages simultaneously. Help avoid confusion by letting people know which message you are responding to.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Find the message you want to reply to.
  4. Press and hold on to the message. A series of reactions to choose from will show up. Tap on the Reply button.
  5. Send your reply.
  6. Alternatively, you can tap on the message you want to reply to, then drag your finger to the right.

Delete messages

I’ve sent plenty of messages I shouldn’t have. Thankfully, Facebook Messenger now allows you to delete them.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Find the message you want to delete.
  4. Press and hold on to the message.
  5. Select More and then Remove.
  6. You can select Remove for You. This will delete the message only on your side of the conversation.
  7. An Unsend option will show up if the other person hasn’t read the message yet.

Create a poll

Trying to reach a decision in a group chat can become an endless argument. The easiest way to handle it is by casting a vote, and Facebook Messenger makes that easy with Polls.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a group conversation.
  3. Tap on the four-dot menu button at the bottom of the screen. This is a + sign on iPhone.
  4. Select Polls.
  5. Fill in your question and possible answers.
  6. Hit Create poll.

Share a Story!

Stories are all the rage these days, and Facebook Messenger has them too. For those behind the times, a Story is pretty much a look into your daily adventures. You can shoot an image or video (up to 20 seconds long) and share it with your friends and fans. These can be adorned with stickers, drawings, typing, and special effects. Additionally, you can select who gets to see it.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Open the Stories tab.
  3. Select the Add to Story option with a + sign.
  4. Select an image, shoot one using the camera, or type out text.
  5. Use drawings, letters, stickers, and other features to adorn your Story.
  6. Send it off by tapping on the Share now button.

Secret conversations are encrypted

Sensitive conversations require more private chats. Facebook Messenger doesn’t want you to leave, so it has provided Secret Conversations. These are encrypted. You can even set a timer on messages so they will auto-destruct after a specified period of time.

As always, privacy comes with sacrifices. Going into Secret Conversation mode will disable most fun features in Messenger, including GIF support, payments, group messages, voice calls, and video calls.

How to enter a secret conversation on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap the i icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Select Go to secret Conversation.

How to enter a secret conversation on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Select Go to secret Conversation.

View message requests from strangers

When you don’t have a contact added, chats get sent to message requests. I prefer not to deal with strangers on Facebook, but sometimes, people I know get thrown in my message requests without my knowledge. It’s good to check now and then.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Tap on the three-line menu button in the top-left corner.
  3. Select Message Requests.

Block a contact

Whether you deal with stalkers, enemies, criminals, or just people you don’t like, you can easily block them.

How to block a contact on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap the i icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Select Block.
  5. You can now select Block messages and calls or Block on Facebook.

How to block a contact on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Select Block.
  5. Follow the instructions to give Messenger your preferences.

Send money through Facebook Messenger

Money Stock Photo 1

You can also send money to your Facebook Messenger contacts! It’s a great way to settle money transactions while staying within a conversation.

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap on the four-dot menu button in the bottom-left corner. This would be a + icon on iPhone.
  4. Select Transfer Money.
  5. Follow instructions.

Change the default Facebook Messenger emoji

By default, all conversations in Facebook Messenger have the thumbs-up emoji as an option. You can change it, though! It’s a neat trick you can use to make a conversation fun.

How to change the quick reaction emoji on Messenger for Android:

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap the i icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Tap on Quick reaction.
  5. Select the one you want to set as the default emoji.

How to change the quick reaction emoji on Messenger for iPhone:

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap on the recipient’s name.
  4. Tap on Quick reaction.
  5. Select the one you want to set as the default emoji.

Are you still trying to figure out how to use Facebook? We have a guide for that. We can also help you with common Facebook issues and how to fix them.