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20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks you may not know

Come discover Facebook Messenger's hidden gems!
By
May 2, 2022
Facebook Messenger on phone stock phoro 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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 988 million monthly active users, the app is only beat by WhatsApp (2 billion) and WeChat (1.26 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.

Related: 21 essential WhatsApp tricks and tips you should know

20 Facebook Messenger tips and tricks:

Editor’s note: All instructions on this list of Facebook Messenger tips and tricks were created using a Pixel 4a with 5G running Android 12. Steps might differ from device to device, especially if you’re using another mobile OS.

You can use nicknames!

Facebook Messenger 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.

  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.

Mute conversations

Facebook Messenger mute conversation

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.

  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 for how long you want to mute the conversation.
  8. Tap OK.

Change conversation colors

Facebook Messenger change colors

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

  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.

Turn on Dark Mode

Facebook Messenger Dark Mode

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

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the top-left corner.
  3. Tap on Dark Mode.
  4. Select On.

Use Facebook Messenger without an account!

Facebook app on phone 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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 arrow at the top right.
  3. Hit Settings & privacy.
  4. Pick Settings.
  5. Select Your Facebook Information from the left menu.
  6. Click Deactivation and Deletion.
  7. Select Deactivate Account, then Continue to Account Deactivation.
  8. Confirm deactivation.
  9. Continue using Facebook Messenger!

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

Facebook Messenger voice notes

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.

Use Facebook Messenger as your SMS app

Facebook Messenger SMS

Many of you already use Facebook Messenger for most of your messaging needs, so you might as well use it for SMS. This feature only works on Android, but that isn’t a problem for most people reading this site.

  1. Open the Facebook Messenger app.
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the top-left corner.
  3. Select SMS.
  4. Toggle the feature on.
  5. You will be asked to verify your decision. Press Set as default.
  6. Set your preferences.

Send your location

Facebook Messenger send location

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

  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.

Make voice and video calls on Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger voice video call

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

Facebook Messenger message reaction

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

Facebook Messenger reply

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.

Alternatively, you can tap on the message you want to reply to, then drag your finger to the right.

Delete messages

Facebook messenger delete message

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. The Remove option will show up at the bottom-right corner. Select it.
  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

Polls

Trying to reach a decision in a group chat can turn into 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.
  4. Select Polls.
  5. Fill in your question and possible answers.
  6. Hit Create poll.

Share a Story!

Facebook Messenger 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.
  7. You can also use the camera icon on the top-right corner of the Facebook Messenger homepage.

Secret conversations are encrypted

Secret Conversation

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.

  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.

View message requests from strangers

Message requests

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 your profile image in the top-left corner.
  3. Select Message Requests.

Block a contact

Block

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

  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 on Messenger or Block on Facebook.

Send money through Facebook Messenger

Money Stock Photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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.
  4. Select Transfer Money.
  5. Follow instructions.

Next: The best budget apps for money management

Change the default Facebook Messenger emoji

Swiftkey Emojis shown on Google Pixel 3 XL
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

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.

  1. Open the Messenger app.
  2. Select a conversation.
  3. Tap the i icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Tap on Emoji.
  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.